Washington, DC – Two major new research reports assemble evidence that challenges longstanding official accounts endorsed by major news organizations that President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and his brother, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), were fatally shot in separate assassinations by lone gunmen, acting alone.
The separate reports announced late in November show that JFK’s 1963 death in Dallas and RFK’s 1968 death in Los Angeles were each the product of conspiracies to thwart the democratic process of elections and accountability via the criminal justice system and have resulted in long-time cover ups that continue to thwart justice and other aspects of civic life.
The reports were prepared by the non-partisan Truth & Reconciliation Committee (T&R), which was founded in 2019. The reports are available in full on the committee’s website:
The reports each carry relevance to developments expected in the next few weeks even beyond the intense civic interest that has generated large numbers of books, films and conferences since the 1960s deaths.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s full parole board are expected to decide soon whether or not to affirm a recommendation in August by a two-member state parole board panel that RFK’s accused assassin, Sirhan B. Sirhan, deserves release under the state’s generally applicable policies for prisoners. Sirhan has been jailed since RFK’s shooting at the Ambassador Hotel shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968 following California’s presidential primary the previous day. State policies encourage release of elderly prisoners who are not a danger to their communities, especially when they were imprisoned long ago in their youth and have good conduct records in prison.
Separately, Biden has announced that his administration will disclose by Dec. 15 an unspecified number of the nearly estimated 16,000 classified records pertaining to the JFK assassination that have been withheld from the public for supposed national security reasons despite the mandate that they be released under the congressional mandate of 1992 JFK Records Collection Act that President George H.W. Bush signed into law in late 1992 under intense public pressure.
The new report on JFK assembles considerable evidence that accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was a “patsy,” as he claimed to be before Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby fatally shot Oswald on live national television at the Dallas police headquarters two days after JFK’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
Who Did What? Why?
These two new reports pull the evidence together from disparate, credible sources in order to make coherent narratives of how and why JFK and RFK were killed. In doing so, the reports shred the official accounts in their descriptions of Oswald and Sirhan as Kennedy-hating sole gunmen.
In the case of Lee Oswald, considerable evidence exists that the former Marine (shown at left) was working in covert fashion with U.S. military and intelligence personnel before the assassination and could not have fired all of the shots recorded during the six relevant seconds shown on businessman Abraham Zapruder’s film. Oswald may not have fired any shots at all, according to the report,
Regarding Sirhan, the evidence shows that RFK was killed from the rear whereas Sirhan was in front of the senator at all times, according to witnesses.
Furthermore, Sirhan – who admittedly fired some shots towards the senator – was using a gun with a capacity of just eight bullets. Evidence exists that 12 to 14 bullets were fired at the death scene in the hotel’s pantry as RFK was exiting a speaking stage after just winning California’s 1968 Democratic presidential primary.
Sirhan’s guilt or innocence regarding firing the fatal shot at RFK is not directly relevant to his current parole proceeding. Sirhan’s defense counsel at his 1969 murder trial never argued for innocence on the basis of ballistics or other evidence. The parole board has never permitted introduction of such evidence in Sirhan’s parole hearings that began when he first became eligible for parole in the early 1980s.
But public perception is always a factor when elected officials must make decisions. And in the case of Sirhan, reader comments to relevant news articles this fall show overwhelming opposition to his release, regardless of the law. Many readers base their view on their belief that Sirhan killed RFK, with many insisting that they saw him do it — when, in fact, no video of the shooting has ever been known to exist and all video and still photos were taken after shooting stopped when Sirhan was being restrained by RFK’s aides.
Most notable in the defense of Sirhan have been Dr. William F. Pepper of New York, who assumed the main role of defense attorney in 2007, and Angela Berry of California, a specialist in that state’s parole procedures and lead defense counsel for that aspect of the defense.
Pepper, a former community activist in New York who became friendly with RFK in supporting his 1964 Senate campaign in New York, became convinced that Sirhan was innocent of killing the senator. As part of this process, Pepper arranged for Dr. Daniel Brown, M.D., a top professor at Harvard Medical School specializing in training medical personnel in hypnosis, to spend more than 150 hours with Sirhan to evaluate and report on his mental state.
The current parole proceeding has so far been decided on the basis of evidence of Sirhan’s good conduct in prison, his youth at the time of the offense, his current age, 77, and most importantly an absence of evidence that he would be a threat to the California community if he is released.
Sirhan’s brother, Munir Sirhan, has volunteered to house him in the family’s longtime home in Pasadena. As another option, the government of Jordan has offered to accept Sirhan Sirhan if he is deported. Reared in a Christian family, the two Sirhan brothers came to the United States at an early age from Palestine with their now-deceased parents.
In arguing for Sirhan’s innocence in firing fatal shots, not just his eligibility for parole, the new reports state:
• Multiple witnesses confirmed hearing at least 12 shots but their statements were ignored by police. The police also ignored three eyewitnesses who stated they saw a security guard, who was standing right behind Kennedy, pull his gun and one saw him fire it.
• The guard’s gun was never checked by the police or FBI and subsequent revelations show him lying about owning a gun that matched Sirhan’s .22 caliber pistol at the time of the murder.
The Truth & Reconciliation Committee (TRC) that created the reports is named for a similarly named group in South Africa that sought decades ago to establish facts regarding racial abuses under that nation’s apartheid regime but without using the information for new prosecutions.
The committee (www.americantruthnow.org) was formed in 2019 by members of the Kennedy and King families, Daniel Ellsberg, Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner, David Crosby, Reverend James Lawson Jr., Oliver Stone, Adam Walinsky, James Galbraith, David Talbot, and other public figures.
The TRC states that it is dedicated to helping America confront the truth of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert F. Kennedy, all of which changed the course of American and world history and adversely affect us to this day. The subsequent cover-ups and failures to disclose critical case files have added to the public’s distrust of both the government and the media, a situation that has helped create the dysfunction in our current political environment.
Written by respected journalists and researchers, the reports rely on documented evidence to refute the official government story of these assassinations. As with other Truth and Reconciliation movements, the goal is not to punish the perpetrators but to set the historical record straight and thereby help bring about a new era of understanding for current and future generations.
The U.S.-based committee’s founding signers include two of RFK’s children, former RFK speechwriter Adam Walinksy and RFK’s close friend and associate, Paul Schrade.
At the time of the shooting, Schrade was a United Auto Workers executive who was shot in the head by Sirhan in the hotel pantry in 1969. Despite that shooting, Schrade for more than 50 years has sought a new investigation on the grounds that he does not believe Sirhan shot RFK. Other signatories include more than 60 other well-respected public figures versed in law, medicine and other civic affairs.