May 1, 2012. Vancouver, BC. On June 5, 1968, five years after his brother JFK was assassinated, Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was also killed. The scene was the Ambassador Hotel in LA, just after midnight. A crowd of energized supporters filled the hall. As Kennedy was led through a passageway to a near-by room, he was gunned down. Just like his brother’s assassination, there are many questions and conspiracies surrounding Robert Kennedy’s murder. Now, a known eye witness insists authorities changed her testimony and there was a second shooter. Evidence from the scene would seem to back up her story.
Nina Rhodes-Hughes was an eye-witness that fateful night in Los Angeles. “The truth has got to be told,” the Canadian resident told CNN yesterday, “What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right.”
When asked why, after all this time, the 78 year-old former Kennedy volunteer is coming forward now, Rhodes-Hughes replied, “I think to assist me in healing, although you're never 100 percent healed from that. But more important, to bring justice." In a telephone interview televised on CNN, the eye-witness to the RFK assassination explained, “For me, it's hopeful and sad that it's only coming out now instead of before, but at least now instead of never."
The official account
According to the official government investigation, and described at Bobby-Kennedy.com:
‘Security guard Thane Eugene Cesar took the Senator’s right elbow and led him through the doors of the hallway into the serving area behind Maitre’d Karl Uecker. When the shots rang out, Uecker grabbed the shooter's arm and pinned him against a steam table, quickly joined by Rosey Grier and Rafer Johnson. Busboy Juan Romero knelt beside Kennedy and gave him rosary beads. He heard RFK ask, "Is everybody all right?" Indeed five other people had been wounded.’
Doctors discovered Kennedy had been shot 3 times and had a fourth bullet go through his suit jacket but not penetrate his body. Two of the shots entered his body through the back-side of his right arm-pit. One lodged in his neck, while the other exited his chest. It was the third shot, his head wound, that would take Kennedy’s life later that day. Doctors removed bullet fragments and blood clots from his brain, but they couldn’t save him.
The shooter was identified as a 24 year-old, Israeli-born, Palestinian Christian with Jordanian citizenship named Sirhan Sirhan. He had emigrated to the US when he was 12 years-old and was known to harbor strong anti-Israeli beliefs. For that reason, it is thought that Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy over the Senator’s pro-Israel position during the 1967 Six-Day War.
The questions and conspiracies
Critics and questioners have had decades to state their case regarding the events that led to Robert Kennedy’s death. And while they don’t doubt RFK’s murder, they do have questions regarding the details. And those details, they say, just don’t add up.
Below are some of the conflicting details surrounding the assassination of Robert Kennedy (from Bobby-Kennedy.com):
Eye-witness Nina Rhodes-Hughes speaks out
“There was another shooter to my right,” Nina Rhodes-Hughes emphatically tells CNN. She went on to call government accounts “false” and her recorded statement’s “twisted”. “I never said eight shots, she insists, “I never, never said it. But if the Attorney General is saying it, then she's going according to what the FBI chose to put into their report." The eye-witness went on to say, “There were more than eight shots. There were at least 12, maybe 14.”
According to research by the network, Sirhan's defense attorneys in 1969 never contested the prosecution's case that Sirhan was the one and only shooter. Sirhan testified he killed Kennedy, "with 20 years of malice aforethought." Sirhan Sirhan was found guilty and sentenced to death. In 1972, his sentence was reduced to life in prison. After the trial, Sirhan recanted his courtroom confession.
Many conspiracy theories suggest Sirhan was the unwitting puppet of America’s shadow government, hell-bent on destroying the Kennedys. He was the real-world ‘Manchurian Candidate’. That term is used for people thought to be brainwashed into unknowingly performing acts against their will.
In Sirhan Sirhan’s current appeal, his lawyers argue that investigators at the time changed and coerced witness statements. The state of California still insists that witnesses unanimously testified, “that only eight shots were fired and that all these shots came from the same direction." Sirhan’s lawyers are using that inaccurate state argument to challenge their client’s ongoing incarceration. “She identified fifteen errors including the FBI alteration which quoted her as hearing only eight shots, which she explicitly denied was what she had told them," Sirhan’s attorneys quoted Nina Rhodes-Hughes.
The FBI has confirmed that Nina Rhodes-Hughes was in fact present in the hotel kitchen where Kennedy was shot and killed and they did question her at the time. She concluded her interview saying, “When they say only eight shots, the anger within me is so great that I practically - I get very emotional because it is so untrue. It is so untrue."
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