NY Times slags documentary suggesting second RFK shooter
On the 40th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's death, there appears to be fresh interest in the circumstances of his murder. The Los Angeles Police Department recently released a set of photographs showing several men struggling with assassin Sirhan Sirhan after Kennedy's shooting, but these add little to the unresolved questions about the killing.
Shane O'Sullivan, the producer of a recent documentary on the assassination, told CNN, "There hasn't really been a serious re-investigation of the ballistics in this case since 1975. ... There's new audio evidence .. which suggests that 13 shots were fired, eight from the front ... and five from the back."
O'Sullivan's film, RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, came out last year and is now available on DVD but is also getting a wider theatrical release. It draws on ballistic evidence, rare footage of events, and interviews with eyewitnesses to suggest that convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan could not have acted alone. However, O'Sullivan's most controversial claim is that several CIA operatives were present when RFK was shot.
The New York Times calls RFK Must Die "a conspiracy-addled trudge through the Ambassador Hotel’s most fateful event" and charges that O'Sullivan "chases one shard of 'evidence' after another — a second gunman, a girl in a polka-dot dress — without bothering to arrange them in any coherent pattern."
However, a more sympathetic review emphasizes that even though the film often seems to be "grasping at straws," it still deserves attention because "where O'Sullivan and his documentary shines is in the forensics pathology portion of the case. The LAPD discovered odd angles of trajectory, possible powder burn marks, additional bullet holes, and several other evidentiary defects that would cause even the most rationally minded CSI soaked individual concern."
Kennedy's former legislative assistant, Peter Edelman, told CNN, "We don't know exactly what happened, still. There are so many mysteries in history."
However, Robert Kennedy's daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, sees no reason to dwell on the events of forty years ago. She told CNN, "You can't recreate the past. You have to create your future. So focus on what my father's legacy is."
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast June 6, 2008.