Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy


"We see through a glass, darkly."

— The Bible

June 8, 1998 marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Robert Francis Kennedy. On that day, Sirhan Sirhan announced once again that he was innocent. In Pasadena, brother Adel spoke to the press from the front lawn of his home. "My brother was convicted on fraudulent evidence," said he.

Attorney Lawrence Teeter, representing Sirhan Sirhan, believes that his client was hypnotized that evening and made to serve as someone's puppet. "An unconscious perpetrator does not commit a crime," Teeter expanded. "He was not aware of what happened...(He) was out of position, out of range and could not have shot Senator Kennedy."

According to a Reuters press release, "Teeter has filed a writ of habeas corpus before the California Supreme Court, asking for a new trial. 'We'd like to find out why this evidence was suppressed,' he said. 'The only way to properly mourn Robert Kennedy is to find out who killed him.'"

Sirhan Sirhan at parole hearing (UPI/Corbis- Bettmann)
Sirhan Sirhan at parole hearing
(UPI/Corbis- Bettmann)

Meanwhile, Sirhan Sirhan remains in prison, having been denied his latest parole attempt in 1997, awaiting his next hearing in the year 2000. He is a model prisoner who continues to claim his innocence.

And so it goes.

Fleeting polka dots, two bullets too many, missing door frames, gangsters with a grudge, secret files — the list sounds like the agenda in a Hercule Poirot mystery. But, the ingredients make up one of the most perplexing cases of all time...and, let's face it, create a conspiracy to stir the imagination. But, unfortunately, the controversy will probably never be settled.

The one fact in the case that is obvious and unerring is a sad one. The assassination, conspiracy or not, took the life of a great statesman and a man who probably would have been President of the United States.



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