Recent legal filings on behalf of Sirhan Sirhan, jailed 45 years ago in the death of Robert F. Kennedy, reveal new evidence suggestive of a larger conspiracy. The filings also enumerate examples of obstructive tactics by a government representative—contortions reminiscent of the Warren Commission’s incredible, acrobatic magic bullet that was essential in creating consensus for a lone wolf assassin in the death of RFK’s elder brother, John.
Sirhan Sirhan, the man almost everyone believes killed Robert F. Kennedy (and did so alone), is seeking a new trial. Sirhan’s current attorney, William Pepper, who also served as James Earl Ray’s final lawyer and believed that Ray had been set up, is seeking to convince the US District Court for the Central District of California not to accept a report from a magistrate judge, Andrew J. Wistrich, advising that the new trial request be dismissed. It’s up to the district court to decide whether to proceed.
Although Sirhan pled guilty at his original trial in 1969, Pepper contends that Sirhan was betrayed by a lead member of his original legal team, Grant Cooper, who Pepper notes was himself under federal indictment at the time for illegally possessing grand jury proceedings in another famous case.
The defense had Sirhan admit guilt and sought to portray him as both mentally deficient and acting on impulse. Pepper notes that the attorney’s personal vulnerability was known to the judge and prosecution, and that they nevertheless said nothing while Sirhan’s real interests were not represented, and exculpatory evidence was suppressed. Although Sirhan confessed to shooting at Robert Kennedy, he later said that he could remember nothing at all of that tragic day.
Now, Pepper is requesting a chance to come to court and offer two kinds of evidence – facts known at the time but not presented to Sirhan’s jury, and facts that have come to light since the trial, The fundamental claim is that Sirhan was genuinely unaware of his actions on June 5, 1968 —when he did, in fact, bring a gun to the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and shortly after midnight fire at Kennedy from the front. Pepper wants to introduce expert testimony that Sirhan was a guinea pig in a super-secret program to hypnotize people and turn them into unwitting killers. As crazy as this may sound at first blush, the United States government is on record as admitting to research in broad areas of mind control, particularly with regard to the CIA’s MKULTRA program, which among other things wanted to determine whether people could be made into killing machines.
This leads us to the recent work of Daniel Brown, a Harvard psychologist. Based on having spent more than 70 hours interviewing Sirhan at Pleasant Valley State Prison in California, Dr. Brown has concluded that, for some time prior to the events at the Ambassador Hotel, Sirhan had been hypnotized—and not just hypnotized but “hypno-programmed”.