The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Topics: Robert F. Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan, John F. Kennedy Pages: 11 (4307 words) Published: October 6, 2010
When Americans think of a politician assassinated, they usually think of John F. Kennedy. After all, he was the President of the United States and his death caused a huge controversy potentially linking it to a conspiracy. But what about his brother, Robert F. Kennedy? After the world was slowly getting over the death of the first Kennedy brother, the death of another Kennedy brother shocked the world. The Kennedy brothers’ deaths have one major thing in common: they were both considered a conspiracy. In this paper, I will discuss the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the conspiracies linked to his death.

Robert F. Kennedy was born November 20, 1925 (Knight 1971, 179). He was the seventh of nine children born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy (Knight 1971, 179). In the view of some, he had risen to power on the coattails of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who made him U.S. attorney general in a blatant act of nepotism (Moldea 1995, 17). Others insist that Robert Kennedy had become the greatest crime fighter in American history, beginning with his baptism as the chief counsel of the Senate Rackets Committee from 1957 to 1960, where he earned his reputation as a fearless enemy of mobsters and labor racketeers (Moldea 1995, 17). Once his brother died, Robert changed dramatically. Once an “insider” with his brother’s presidency, he quickly became an outsider once Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the presidency (Moldea 1995, 18). Looking for another power base, Kennedy was elected as a U.S. Senator from New York (Moldea 1995, 18). In March of 1968, Kennedy announced his candidacy for President (Moldea 1995, 19). He campaigned hard for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. The Scene

On Tuesday, June 4, 1968, Kennedy was in California for primary election day. Kennedy was awaiting the elections results at the Ambassador Hotel (Moldea 1995, 24). With the election still in doubt and Kennedy running behind, he went to his suite and remained there, hoping that there would be a change in pace (Moldea 1995, 24). When his victory became clear around midnight, Kennedy took the freight elevator down to the kitchen, walked through the pantry and anteroom, and entered the Embassy Room to wild applause of about eighteen hundred people (Moldea 1995, 25). After Kennedy’s victory speech, he exited the Embassy room and headed to the Colonial Room for a news conference (Moldea 1995, 26). To get there quickly, an aide told him to go back through the kitchen pantry (Moldea 1995, 26). As Kennedy shook hands with the kitchen workers, a short, swarthy man, standing about five feet away, suddenly opened fire with a .22-caliber pistol (Knight 1971, 184). Eight shots were fired, and Kennedy fell to the floor, hit in the back of the head by one bullet and in the back of the right armpit by two others (Knight 1971, 184). Kennedy was then rushed to the hospital by ambulance where a team of surgeons worked for almost four hours to remove bullet fragments from his brain (Knight 1971, 184). The fatal bullet had entered the cerebellum after penetrating the mastoid bone behind the right ear (Knight 1971, 184). After surgery, Kennedy’s condition was described first as “very critical,” then as “extremely critical” and then “extremely critical as to life” (Knight 1971, 185). Kennedy’s press secretary Frank Mankiewicz announced a minute before 2:00 am on June 6th that Kennedy had died at 1:44 am, about 25 hours after he had been shot. The Assassin

Moments after Kennedy was shot, the assassin was seized with a revolver in his hand (Knights 1971, 185). After the assassin was seized, he refused to give police any information about himself (Knights 1971, 185). He was arraigned at 7 am on June 5 in municipal court as “John Doe” (Knights 1971, 185). He was charged, in a complaint by District Attorney Evelle Younger, with 6 counts of assault with intent to murder, as he also shot five bystanders during his attack (Knights 1971, 185). The suspect had been...

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Barbassa, Juliana. 2006. “RFK’s Killer Up for Parole Today; Governor’s Ties to Kennedy Eyed.” The Boston Globe. March 15, 2006. Retrieved from on April 22, 2010.
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Knight, Janet M. ed. Three Assassinations: The deaths of John &Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. New York, New York, Facts on File, Inc. 1971. Print.
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Melanson, Phillip
Moldea, Dan E. The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity. New York: W.W. Norton &Company, 1995. Print.
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Rothfeld, Michael. 2009. “Sirhan Sirhan Moved to Coalinga Prison.” L.A. Now November 2, 2009. Retrieved from on April 20, 2010.
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