Democracy was dealt a devastating blow the night Democratie Presiden i ia! hopelul Kobert Kennedy was inurdered in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was on ihat night June 6, 1968 ihat Richard Níxon was assuied a neo ticket to the Win le House, and what was to beeome the most perverted and con tipt period in American government began. I'. was on thal same niglit thal a Palestinian immigrant, Sirhan B. Sirhan. was booked for the assassination.and there began a long, involved conspiracy on the part of the Los Angeles Pólice Department (LAPO) and possihly the CIA to pin himwith lone responsibility foi the murder. l'heie is little doubt that Sirhan tiied to kil! Kennedy. Photographic evidence and eyewitness testimony both l'ind hiin wilh'a gun amidst the crowd. But was he alone in that pantry.' Was he part of a conspiracy to halt what seémed to he the inevitable: that Roben Kennedy, altor sweepmg the California Democratie primary that same evehing, would he his party's no'minee tbr President" Did that man, sehteneed to die in the gas chamber, and now sitting out the rest of his life on San Quentin's deatli row, even pull the trigger of the actual muider weapon'.' The evidence seems to declare he did not. After the Kennedy shooting. the LAPD. in what appears to be an effort to quash all qiiestions once and for all, quickly concluded that all shots that were f i red that night carne from the "Sirhan gun and no other." Evidence conveniently provided by LAPD lab specialist DeWayne Wolfer-who later testified before the Grand Jury and at Sirhan's trial that he had personally test-fired Sirhan's gun-concluded that based on his comparisons of those bullets and slugs taken from the bodies of the Senator and that of William Wiesel , a televisión producer who was wounded that night, Sirhan acted alone. Almost immediately, the validity of this claim became questionable. An autopsy report by Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi (famed for his work on the Tate-LaBianca mulders) found that all gunshot wounds carne frum "right to left directions and upward and back to front directions." From deeply ingrained powder burns on the Senator s ear, lie eonciuaea that the bullet entered Kennedy's brain from a distance of "one inch and no move than tliree inches away." Noguclii's testi. mony was con - trary to all eyewitness reports, placing Sirhan no closer than two teel from and in front of Kennedy. Donald L. Scluilman, an employee of a Los Angeles televisión station, contends tliat he saw Sirhan flre his pistol. "He (Sirhan) was quite a distance from him (Kennedy)," he said. Karl Uecker, the hotel's mitre d'. who was beside Kennedy during the shooting, said the gun held by Sirhan was one and one-half feet to two teet away trom Kennedy. He maintains that it would have been "completely impossible" for Sirhan to have gotten heliind him and have shot Kennedy from behind. This testimony has been backed up by Eddie Menasian, another witness, who claimed before the original Grand Jury that Sifhan's gun was about three feet away trom Kennedy. New York Post columnist Pete llamill also told pólice Sirhan was several fee! away when he fired. 1-yewitness testimony is unreüable. and in Ltsetl does not make foi any conqlüsive argument. But ilieie is more. Findings by ballisties experts proves that the bullet recovered luim Kennedy's body and the bullci recovered fröoi William Wies el cquld not have been fired trom Sirhan's j .22 calibre, eight-shol [vor Johnson gun, as originally claimed by Wolrer. Pasadená forensics expert William Harper, consulted by journalist Ted Charach (maker of the documentary film, TheSecond (mi) contends ihat "tbcrc is a significant i ence in the markings made on the bullets which struck bystanders and those whicli struck Senator Kennedy 's bódy." l kn per added that "a second gunman to the tighl rear of the i Senator was in a virtual blind spot where no one was looking after Sirhan started rïring." I Witnesses have claimed to have seen a security guard, named Thane Eugene Cesar, standing in thal "blind spot." pull his gun as the shooting began. Cesar, when briefly questioned by pólice, claimed that he drew his .38 caliber pistol wnen K.enneay was snoi, oui i ; didn't fire. He also admitted to 1 once owning a .22 caliber pistol like Sirhan's, but had sold it to a 1 friend, who had had it stolen somewhere in Aikansas. Harper also stumbled across the fact that Sirhan's gun was never tested, and that Wolfer -" liad used anotlwr .22 calibre pistol to tire the test bullets that were later used to confirm tliat all bullets fired the night of the assassination were fired from Sirhan's gun. Even more inexplicably , afler using this other gun to help prove Sirhan killed Kennedy, the LAPD proceeded to destroy it a full seven months before the trial. Forensic experts nationwide were _ _ _ palled by the apparent ence of the LAPD and DeWayne Wolfer's . tigation. -continiu'd en page 26 . RFK continuad from page 8 On Nov. 28, 1973, Herbert León MacDonneU. one of the country's leading criminologists and Director of the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning, New York, agreed with Harper's earlier findings, stating conclusively that the bullets from Kennedy and Wiesel could not have been fired from the same weapon. "The bullet removed from the late Senator Kennedy was not fired from the Ivor Johnson .22 cadet revolver taken from Sirhan," he said. Subsequent investigation into the mishaps of the LAPD findings from fhe shooting have uncovered fürthei irregularities pointing to inpompetence and possible cover-up by Los Angeles authörities. In tbc course of investigating Wolfer, District Attorney Joseph Busch discovered that evidence in the Sirhan trial had been "contaminated and perhaps tampered with by unauthorized individuáis." Evidence considered vital to proving a possible conspiracy appears to bc "missing" trom pólice files, ('eiling panels from above the pantry areu where Kennedy was shol are "missing." Allegedly, there are at least three bullet holes in those panels - which, if true, would suggest . that there were more than eight shots fired that night. Three bullets hit Kennedy. Five hit bystanders. Three in the ceiüng and another that passed through the Senator's right coat slumlder. A total of twelve. Sirhan's gun, legedly the only weapon, is an eight-shot revolver. Also "missing" trom pólice files is the right sleeve of' Kennedy's coat, which would continu anothej biillet. In l-ehruary oí 1975, the Academy of forensic Sciences conducted their own in-depth investigation into the ballistic evidence in the Kennedy shooting. The Academy, headed by Dr. Ralph Turner, a professor at Michigan State University's School of' Criminal Justice, found evidence to indícate that two guns may have been frred. The Academy, which includes most of the nation's leading firearms, pathology and ballistic experts, called tor an immediate reopening of the investigation, and asked for "an independent, non-governmental controlled body of experts, who can really be relied upon to let the arrows of truth come to rest wherever they may be." On October 6, Sirhan's weapon was finaljy refired by a panel of ballistics experts. Although the New York Times reponed that a second gun was ruled out, and CBS News ran a carefullyedited interview with panel member Lowell Bradford supposedly confirming this conclusión, Bradford and several other panelists immediately protested that their findings had been misrepresentcd. While they had found no conclusive prooi' that a secondgun existed, they had also determined that three of the bullets on the scène couM not be traced to Sirhan's gun, thus leaving open the possibility of another assassin. In the next segment of this art iele, the SUN examines the dramatic new evidence in the RI'K case developed by Donald l-'reed 's Campaign for Democratie Freedoms, inciuding CIA connectiom to the LAPD investigators; the murdcr of Sirhan 's farmer ccllmate at San Qucntin; and tic theory that Sirhan was hypnoprogrammed to kil! Kennedy. Martin Por ter, an A nu Arbor-hased freelancer, has worked on the Michigan Daily and the Atlanta Constitution.