Passport to the World over 64 years. Pages from my Travel Diary

Senator Robert Kennedy was gunned down in Los Angeles. Friday the 5th. of June 1968

I had flown from Newark airport in a small chartered aircraft piloted by a negro who said he was the baggage handler, the flight attendant, and also the pilot. He asked the tower if he could clear for take off, and proceeded to taxi under the wings of a large airliner on the tarmac, take off, then tell me he had never been to Wilmington before, so we would need to fly visually, keeping the east coast in view, all very reassuring!!

But we made it, and I was collected by Dupont people with whom I was to meet, to discuss the availability of some of their cellulose and other plastic films.

In my hotel room,  I was watching television and Senator Robert Kennedy's victory speech in Los Angeles. Bobby Kennedy had just won the Democratic Presidential Primary over Eugene McCarthy to most likely give him the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

Robert Kennedy. I was watching on US television ehen he was shot down.
Robert Kennedy. I was watching on US television ehen he was shot down.

Just after midnight on the 5th. of June 1968, he left the stage and made his way through a kitchen pantry in the hotel, here Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, a 21 year old Palestine refugee waited, he was in possession of a 22 calibre pistol. He confronted the Senator about 6 feet away, shouted "Kennedy you son of a bitch!" and started firing his pistol.

Bobby Kennedy went down shot, to die of brain damage within 24 hours.

Bobby moments after being shot
Bobby moments after being shot

I was privy to the shooting etc on television, and was staggered to see yet another Kennedy so very easily gunned down.

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan accused of shooting Bobby Kennedy
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan accused of shooting Bobby Kennedy
Of course there was much controversy later whether the shots fired by Sirhan actually hit the Senator, or whether he was shot by someone behind him. It has been claimed that autopsy findings stated that Bobby was shot from a weapon fired from between 1 to 3 inches away, whereas Sirhan was at least 6 feet away.

Convicted by a jury, Sirhan was sentenced to death. Whilst the case was on appeal, the death penalty law was struck down by the California Supreme Court, so a life sentence was imposed.

In July of 2002, a second petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus was filed in the California Supreme Court, and an appeal to the US Supreme Court was made on the 13th. of January 2003, both failed, and Sirhan remains in custody.

But was he really guilty or was he framed? We may never know the truth.

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