Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed he doesn’t believe Sirhan B. Sirhan, the man convicted of killing his father Bobby Kennedy in 1968, had carried out the assassination and believes a second shooter was involved.
In an interview with the Washington Post published Saturday, Kennedy said he met with Sirhan for three hours after spending months reviewing autopsy results, police reports and interviewing witnesses who was there when his father was killed. It’s been nearly 50 years since Bobby Kennedy was killed in Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel, but the 64-year-old said he reached a point where he had to talk to the man convicted of killing his father.
“I went there because I was curious and disturbed by what I had seen in the evidence,” Kennedy said, not disclosing details of their conversation. “I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father. My father was the chief law enforcement officer in this country.”
He added, “I think it would have disturbed him if somebody was put in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.”
Sirhan had admitted during his 1969 trial to shooting the then-Democratic presidential candidate, but repeatedly said he didn’t remember pulling the trigger. An autopsy report also showed Bobby Kennedy was shot in the back — when Sirhan was standing in front of him.
Reports through the years also indicated 13 shots were fired that day when Sirhan’s gun only held eight bullets. Several witnesses said Sirhan wasn't close to the senator.
Kennedy is now supporting a call for a reinvestigation into his father’s assassination. His doubts of Sirhan, who is serving life in prison, killing his father follows the belief that a second shooter was also at the scene.
Paul Schrade — who was shot in the head while walking behind Bobby Kennedy — said he also thinks Sirhan didn’t shoot the politician. He believes Sirhan’s bullets hit him and four others wounded that day.
“Yes, he did shoot me. Yes, he shot four other people and aimed at Kennedy,” Schrade told the Washington Post. “The important thing is he did not shoot Robert Kennedy. Why didn’t they go after the second gunman? They knew about him right away. They didn’t want to know who it was. They wanted a quickie.”
Schrade, 93, had convinced Kennedy, a lawyer and environmental activist, to look into the assassination after showing him the autopsy report. Kennedy, the third oldest of 11 children, was 14 when his father was killed.
The court has refused to open a new investigation into the assassination, the Washington Post reported. Sirhan’s appeals have been rejected multiple times, including as recently as 2016.
Other members of the Kennedy family did not comment on the report.
This isn’t the first time Kennedy has backed a controversial theory. He argued last year that certain vaccines were unsafe for children.