jm wave and the assassination of robert kennedy

A reader by the name of Rob just sent me a link to a recent BBC piece on the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Apparently, a struggling screenwriter who was looking into the case, has been interviewing former CIA operatives who have tentatively identified several individuals in photos taken that day in Los Angeles as company men who had it in for the Kennedys. When asked on camera if perhaps they had been sent there by the CIA as part of the detail to protect Kennedy, one former CIA operative who knew one of the men in question, laughed reflexively and said something like, “You’ve got to be kidding – no one would send this guy to guard a Kennedy.” Not surprisingly, the Bay of Pigs and the covert CIA station in Miami known as JM Wave feature prominantly in the story… Here’s a Wikipedia clip on JM Wave:

…JMWAVE underwent its first major development when it was established as the operations center for Task Force W, the CIA’s unit dedicated to “Operation Mongoose” – a US effort to overthrow President Fidel Castro’s Communist government in Cuba. JMWAVE was also active in some form during the failed US-sponsored “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba in April 1961…

So, the theory is that a rogue element in the CIA, pissed off by the betrayal they perceived in the Bay of Pigs fiasco (when JFK refused to call in American air support for Cuban exiles undertaking a coup) and the way the Cuban missile crisis was handled, took it upon themselves to remove the threat to America. (That threat being the Kennedy brothers.) It’s hard to tell from the grainy photos, but it does seem as though these three men that we see in the background just after Robert Kennedy is shot could be these CIA men from the Florida station who so hated JFK and his brother… I don’t know what to take away from all of this, other than the lesson that it might not be such a good idea to set up super-secret, well-funded assassination squads in your country that operate above the law. Sooner or later, it seems, it’s going to come back and bite someone in the ass.

[More context on JM Wave and the Bay of Pigs can be found in the “Atlantic.”]

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47 Comments

  1. mark
    Posted June 8, 2007 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    As far as I know it’s completely unrelated, but I heard tonight that the new Mexican grocery on Michigan Avenue is now open for business.

  2. Robert
    Posted June 8, 2007 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The three known CIA operatives who O’Sullivan feels he’s identified in photos and video taken at the Ambassador Hotel the night of the assassination, are David Sanchez Morales, Gordon Campbell and George Joannides. All three worked in Miami with the JM-Wave operation.

    I think one of the most compelling pieces of information O’Sullivan presents is the positive identification of George Joannides by a researcher with the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations, Ed Lopez. In one very good picture, Joannides is seen standing in the hotel lobby with the man others have been identifying as Morales. Joannides had been the Chief of Psychological Warfare Operations at JM-Wave. The funny thing is that Ed Lopez knew Joannides as the CIA liaison to the HSCA. He remarked on Joannides habit of denying the committee access to crucial documents. Apparently, Joannides also failed to inform his colleagues at the committee that he had ever worked at JM-Wave, a strange thing to have slip his mind.

    It’s been almost six months now since O’Sullivan’s apparent revelations aired on the BBC, and still I can find no solid information countering any of it. So far, only a statement from ‘former’ CIA agent Tom Clines saying all three men have been misidentified. I’m still not sure what his relationship was to any of them.

  3. Cleo Love Paste
    Posted June 8, 2007 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    It seems odd to me that the men in these photos, if they really were the three covert agents that he’s suggesting, made no effort to disguise themselves or stay away from photographers. Otherwise it sounds plausible.

  4. Robert
    Posted June 9, 2007 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Yes, it would seem odd. But remember, this was less than five years after the JFK assassination, and these men were not recognizable to researchers at that time. The declassifying, uncovering, or releasing of most of the information regarding these men and the operations they took part in, did not happen until the late 70s.

    In 1968, these guys wouldn’t have had any notion that they would ever be outed as they have been since the events of Watergate. It just wasn’t what happened with operatives up until then. So they would be certainly riding on a kind of confidence at that time that would be hard for us to imagine now. Before WaterGate there was still very much this sense that they could operate without consequences, because hell, they did.

    It should also be noted that these men were not classified deep cover agents. They generally ran training operations, instigated, agitated and eliminated. They were thuggish operatives, which should be distinguished from the more artful deep cover agents, who specialize in intelligence gathering and thus are known for their expertise in the art of disguise. One can compare specializations within the intelligence community with their counterparts in the criminal world. Whereas deep cover agents are like master con-men, the JM-Wave types are more like drug runners, and as it turns out in fact, often were.

  5. egpenet
    Posted June 9, 2007 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Trust me, I’ve been trained to do this.

    I won’t let anything happen to you. I will protect you.

    I can’t wakit for backup any longer! I’m going in.

  6. Robert
    Posted June 9, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    OK, but I’m just going to stay here and wakit for backup.

  7. egpenet
    Posted June 9, 2007 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    (I’m typing with gloves on … and I wasn’t trained to do THAT!) HAHAHA …

  8. Robert
    Posted June 9, 2007 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Gloves that allow you to wakit?

  9. Robert
    Posted June 9, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I finally found a good source for background info on individuals associated with the JM-Wave operation. The site is http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk There, it indicates that Tom Clines was assigned to JM-Wave from ’61 to ’62. So that, if true, should lend some weight to his statement that O’Sullivan’s other sources have in fact misidentified the three individuals in question.

    I also want to correct a misstatement of my own which I made here. In a previous post above I said that a ‘good photograph’ from Ambassador Hotel the night of the shooting showed two men standing together who appeared to be Joannides and ‘Morales.’ I meant to say Joannides and ‘Campbell.’

    Over the past 15 years, I have collected a lot of information on this and other landmark crimes in recent history. Some of the things I’ve come across are pretty fascinating. If there is anyone out there that finds this stuff as interesting as I do, please feel free to contact me.

  10. Posted June 20, 2007 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I know egpenet is going to make fun of me for this, but it’s been sort of a hobby of mine to read these clandesine operations manuals. Seriously, they’re interesting reading.

    So anyway, there are a lot of details about the RFK assassination that match some of the methods described in operations manuals.

  11. Posted July 1, 2007 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I’ve been trying to pick a fight with Mel Ayton and the other phony researchers who have been trying to manufacture controversy where there isn’t any.

    Mel Ayton has apparently gone through a bunch of the pictures from the Embassador Hotel that night and found as many women in polka-dot like dresses as he could. He then tries to suggest this is somehow a meaningful counter to the many very witness descriptions and photos of a very specific woman who has never been identified.

    DO we really live in a world where idiots like this get published and are then considered experts? God help us.

  12. mark
    Posted July 1, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    “Polkadot dress woman” was married to “badge man.”

  13. egpenet
    Posted July 1, 2007 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I will NOT make fun of you, Robert. This is NOT funny business. And I HAVE had some training in these areas. How many people in Glasgow are laughing this morning? These are NOT nice people.

  14. mark
    Posted July 3, 2007 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    …Or was it “umbrella man”? I’m confused.

  15. Mel Ayton
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Your readers will note how Robert Rowe misdirects the debate about the alleged CIA agents whom Shane O’Sullivan alleges were at the Ambassador Hotel on the night RFK was assassinated.

    Contrary to Rowe’s comments (above) I answered his posts in full on the History News Network:
    see: http://hnn.us/articles/32193.html

    As to his comments about my Polka Dot Girl article please see : http://hnn.us/articles/38496.html

    I’m sure your readers will be able to judge who is the ‘idiot’ here.

    Mel Ayton

  16. mark
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh, shit… This is gonna be good…

    Do me a favor and don’t respond for a minute, Rob. I need to run to the kitchen for a beer.

  17. Robert
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    You’ll have time. I have to get something to eat and get home where I can write a serious response to Mel’s comments.

    Let me start off though by making one thing clear. I actually like Mel. He’s a good writer, and he seems like a very decent guy. His response to my mockery and needling has been civil for the most part. As you all know, my postings are usually nothing more than obnoxious clowning. That’s all I’ve been doing with Mel up to this point too. He deserves better, and I’ll oblige.

  18. mark
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Shit, I was looking forward to a good, old fashioned smackdown.

    (Mark returns beer to fridge.)

  19. Robert
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t say you wouldn’t get your smackdown, Mark.

    And Mel, I have some more disappointing news for you. Everyone at this website already knows I’m an idiot. Why just the other day I was going on about how I suspected a vast canine conspiracy ever since David Berkowitz was told by his neighbor’s dog Harvey to go shoot teenagers. So if you’re here with the intention of making me look like a complete imbecile, you’re too late. I beat you to it.

    It’s clear you’ve already detected that I am practically illiterate. This would explain why you’ve begun sending me repeatedly to the dictionary – a favorite weapon of the professional writer who feels threatened. Of course, I guess it could also just be because you’re English.

    That aside, let’s get down to the meat of the issue here…

  20. Robert
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    As to Mel’s first comment about me here, where he says I’ve misdirected the debate about Shane O’Sullivan’s allegations, I will concede, though it was not at all intentional. I just could tell nobody here but me thinks any of this crap is interesting, so I felt the urge to throw some drama into the mix. I figured picking a fight with you, Mel, would get more people noticing the story. If we can sell a few of your books, it’s worth it.

    Mel is mistaken in his second statement. I never attacked him on his critique of Shane O’Sullivan’s BBC piece…at least not yet. And in fact I do recommend people read his article on this: see: http://hnn.us/articles/32193.html. What he’s written there is a pretty good summation of all the statements which have come out countering Shane’s piece since it aired late last year. In my opinion, the fact that such a bold and specific set of accusations has not been completely blown out of the water by now, makes me wonder if maybe the CIA did have a presence there that night.

    I will return to discuss the real bone of contention between me and ol’ Mel…that is the yet to be identified young couple who were observed interacting with Sirhan before the shooting, and who were seen running from the scene afterward. This is where things are going to get nasty, Mark.

  21. mark
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    OK, let me get that beer back out of the fridge.

  22. Robert
    Posted July 5, 2007 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Mel has an interesting ‘investigative’ style. He doesn’t do the cowardly thing and talk about the unknown aspects of the case, and try to fill in the missing pieces. No, he goes right to denying the established facts. Now that takes balls.

    For example, several people in and around the Ambassador Hotel described, in fairly consistent detail, two individuals, who appeared at times to be a couple. These two individuals were at moments prior to the shooting seen interacting with Sirhan. Immediately after the shooting they were seen fleeing, some said in glee. There are even a few photos left in which these individuals appear in the background. (I say “a few photos left” for a reason I’ll explain in the next paragraph.) Now, presented with these photos and these eyewitness accounts of the odd behavior displayed by these unidentified individuals, what does Mel do? Does he focus his time and energy on the assumingly manageable task of identifying the people in the pictures and providing new and persuasive information supporting the official LAPD report that these people were not involved in any sinister way? No, that is what an actual investigator would have to do. Boring!..and a lot of real legwork. It could even be dangerous if anything these crazy conspiracy nuts are saying is even remotely true. We’re trying to sell books here. What happened or didn’t happen in the Ambassador Hotel that night, and who was involved and who wasn’t, is simply not relevant to that purpose. So why do it? I can’t think of a reason either. This is one of the reasons I don’t hate Mel.

    When I made the comment that the photos everyone is looking at are only what is left of the original number that were snapped that night, it is because the LAPD managed to “misplace” hundreds, before they were ordered by a court to return what remained to their rightful owners. And even then, several of those were stolen immediately after being handed over. Mel may mention these facts in his book and then declare he’s “addressed” these issues. That’s Mel’s ‘style’. But mentioning something is not the same as addressing it. I am sure a wordsmith as skilled as Mr. Ayton knows the difference, and it’s very strange that he would momentarily pretend not to. It’s a common practice of his. You can see it over and over in his articles and posts. Go ahead and take a look. I’m a really, really lazy person, so I know pretty much all the tricks.

    Hey, don’t get me wrong. I feel for the guy. He’s a professional writer trying to make a living. I know there are probably very few people out there who would ever actually be interested in a thorough investigation of all the facts. Who would buy it?…me and maybe three other losers out there? As far as bringing in an income, it obviously wouldn’t be worth the time of researching and writing. What does work, however, is coming up with a catchy title – something that appeals to millions. Definitely something contemporary…something that brings to mind 9/11, and Al Queda, and feeds into a notion clung to dearly by at least a third of the population of the western world. Let’s see, what shall we call it? How about “Osama ’68.” Hmmm, too goofy. How about “The Growing Arab Menace.” Naw, too racist. Let’s go with “Sirhan, The Forgotten Terrorist.”

    Once you have the cool title, it doesn’t make much difference what you fill the pages with, as long as it doesn’t upset the crowd you’ve drawn in to pick it up. Fill it with 80% reiteration of the background story…you know “Robert Kennedy was a Senator. Primaries are elections.” etc, etc. (I’d have interns do most of that.) Then put in some sarcasm whenever you talk about the claims of the “conspiracy advocates” and make sure to throw in a lot of background on Palestinians and how prone to hatred and violence they are…oh, ooops….might be. Make sure you mention everything, so you can claim you “addressed” that issue when it comes up in conversation. When a person says you are full of it, you can say “Had you learned to read, and then read my book, you would know I addressed that in Chapter bla bla bla.”

  23. Mel Ayton
    Posted July 6, 2007 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Now and again I like to discuss issues with people who are one sandwich short of a picnic – but I’m lost off here – what was the question? Oh, right – the stolen photos. To save you some money (and you are correct, my time) here’s an extract from the book about the stolen photos:
    The “Missing Photographs”
    The LAPD destroyed 2,410 of more the 2,700 investigation photos when their usefulness was deemed to be nil. The photos included shots of the crime scene, photos of witnesses, and the prints and negatives taken by the Fire Department’s photographer on duty on the night of the assassination. The list of photos destroyed also included pictures taken by newsmen and film shot by amateurs. According to Lt. Roy Keene, who authorized the destruction, “To control the confidentiality of . . . documents . . . we tried to work with a minimum of . . . copies. . . . They would not be souvenirs. And this has happened: scraps of clothing, threads of clothing, photographs ended up with souvenir hunters’ collections. So in determining the exact number of sets of autopsy photos required for court preparation, we destroyed more than the copies necessary. That’s all. That’s all that was about.” Robert Houghton said, “If there was anything funny going on, those DA guys [district attorneys Dave Fitts, Buck Compton, and John Howard] would have spotted it immediately.”58
    It was also claimed that photographs taken in the pantry that night by fifteen-year-old Scott Enyart disappeared. This disappearance provoked conspiracy theorists to hypothesize that Enyart’s photos would have revealed a second shooter had they not been destroyed. Critics concluded that the police confiscated the photos to hide evidence of a conspiracy.
    On June 5, 1968, Enyart was taking photos for his school newspaper, the Fairfax High School Gazette. When RFK finished his speech in the hotel ballroom, Enyart followed Kennedy into the kitchen pantry. He said he raised his camera over his head and pressed the shutter repeatedly, then climbed up on a steam table and took even more photographs. Minutes later he returned to the ballroom to record the chaos there. Enyart claimed police confiscated his photographs—on three thirty-six exposure rolls—as evidence and said he was interviewed at Ramparts Police Station.
    Enyart said he received about two dozen prints/Xeroxes back from the police, all of which showed either the speech or the ballroom after the assassination. None of what he considered the important ones were returned to him. Told that the evidence in the case had been sealed for twenty years, Enyart waited until the late 1980s to request that the police return all of his photos. At first the authorities said they did not have the negatives, saying they destroyed them in August 1968. They later said they had been misfiled and would be returned to him. Enyart hired a lawyer and sued the LAPD for $2 million in damages for the loss or destruction of his photographs. Following years of legal battles his case finally came to fruition in 1996 when a jury ruled in his favor. However, the negatives were stolen as a courier delivered them to Enyart. He was awarded damages.59
    The verdict in the Enyart case was a blow to the LAPD, which had come under constant accusations that they had covered up an RFK conspiracy. Skip Miller, who argued the case for the district attorney’s office, however, said that Enyart’s claim that he took important photographs in the hotel pantry at the time RFK was shot “was just wishful thinking.” Miller said that Enyart took only one roll of film and, more important, he was not in the pantry in the first place.60 To prove his allegations, Miller called as a witness one of Enyart’s two friends who had been with him on the night of the shooting. Brent Gold, who later became a psychotherapist, said Enyart never walked in the pantry following RFK’s speech but instead was with him in the hotel lobby when the shooting occurred. Gold said, they both “walked out to the front” of the hotel “to the lobby” and then they both responded to screams and commotion indicating something was wrong inside. Gold said both of them went back inside the Embassy Ballroom and insists, “I knew we were both outside in the lobby area when Kennedy was shot and he [Enyart] wasn’t in the pantry.” Furthermore, said Miller, Bill Eppridge, a Life photographer, said Enyart’s claim that he was the person in his photographs was untrue and that the person standing on the steam table was instead Harry Benson.61
    According to the District Attorney’s Office, Enyart (today, a committed JFK and 9/11 conspiracy advocate) was awarded damages because the jury was allowed to hear witnesses who had misled it with allegations of a purported conspiracy. Miller also believed that jury misconduct occurred and that some jurors expressed hatred of the LAPD and a belief in conspiracy theories jarred their deliberations.

    Be a good boy and say thank you.

    And the couple who were ‘running from the scene’ – well, as you predicted, I’m going to say “you’ll just have to buy the book”!

  24. Mel Ayton
    Posted July 6, 2007 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    ps your comments that my CIA/RFK article was a ‘summation’ of everything that came out about O’Sullivan’s piece is incorrect – it was original research using original sources.Later David Talbot and Jefferson Morley emailed me to say sorry for not referencing me when they decided to write about Manny Chavez etc.

  25. Posted July 6, 2007 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Mr. Ayton, I do appreciate your willingness to share the excerpt from your book, and for taking the time to post it here. So here is my official “thank you.”

    Most of all I am glad to see, despite your obvious predisposition toward the LAPD’s official conclusions in the way you’ve written the excerpt, you’ve only managed to make the two competing perspectives (conspiracy vs. lone assassin) look almost balanced here. You’ve pretty much just told the LAPD’s version of what supposedly happened with the photos, and what the photos supposedly depicted. I’m willing to bet you haven’t done much service to the cause of convincing people there was no organized crime here – at least not in the excerpt you’ve provided us. People reading it are much more likely to be wondering what the hell is wrong with the Los Angeles police department. The glaring question is really, “Is this unimaginable incompetence on the part of one of the largest and most experienced police departments in the country, or is it corruption?”

    Believe me, Mel, we here in the states have been getting a nice fat lesson in just that question over the past several years, and increasingly, people are beginning to grow tired of the incompetence cover story.

    On the point of my ‘summation’ comment, I will apologize. I honestly wasn’t trying to criticize you at all there. I was actually trying to compliment you a little, if you can believe it. In my mind, even as I thought of it as just a collection and summation of the countering statements made by others to O’Sullivans piece, I considered it a valuable and much needed one. Now that you have informed me that it was in fact your original research on top of that, I’ll acknowledge that as well.

    But don’t get the wrong idea, I have plenty more nasty things to say, and I will return soon enough with my next mad rant.

    Until then, I’m going to go see if I can’t find a good sandwich place around here, and a nice sunny spot for a picnic.

  26. Posted July 6, 2007 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I believe you when you suggest that the conspiracy theorists like Peter Fokes generally aren’t good listeners. Of course that’s no proof that you are.

    See the link to Peter Fokes’ post in my comment heading here. He also has a link from there to the two pictures he’s asked you about.

    You can call me and my comments names, but I’d still be interested in getting answers to my questions also.

    In return, I’ll be happy to explain to you how an investigation into the murder of a known underworld figure or a district attorney differs from those of more typical deaths where the victim is assumed not to be a likely target of organized crime. I would have hoped your friends in law enforcement may have told you more about that sort of thing.

    To suggest that the RFK killing should be investigated using the assumptions made if he were just any average guy, is simply absurd. You would have to at least approach it with the same analysis as you would a district attorney who gets ‘robbed’ and killed in a seemingly random act.

    I can promise you that when a federal judge or attorney ends up dead in an apparent random act of violence, it is not accepted as such just because there is apparently an immediate and obvious explanation. Many possible more sinister scenarios are considered and investigated simply because of who the victim was.

    However, that is not at all the approach the LAPD took in the RFK case, and that is highly unusual. However, you seem to be aware of no other approach from what I’ve read so far.
    Anyway, I’ll admit, despite my problems with your approach, you’ve convinced me it may be worth it to pick up a copy of your book.

  27. Posted July 6, 2007 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Just a side note:

    Dan Moldea, the primary ‘coincidence and incompetence theorist’ in the RFK case, has been working for Larry Flynt, and lying about it. See the link above.

    Yep, there’s an honorable man. Working for a smut peddler, getting paid to dig into someone’s personal life for the purpose of public humiliation, and lying about it. My hero.

  28. Mel Ayton
    Posted July 7, 2007 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Mr Rowe,
    The idea that organized crime was involved is simply a suspicion and we all have suspicions about one thing or another all the time. The crucial issue, however, is ‘where’s the proof?’ and if you don’t have any you can’t simply harp on about this type of thing ad nauseam.
    This is the methodology of conspiracists – they provide their readers with all kinds of questions but never supply any credible answers – I do that in my book.

    Vincent Bugliosi does the same type of thing by asking his readers to use logic and reasoning when discussing issue where there is no absolute proof one way or the other.

    For example, conspiracists say Thane Cesar (the only candidate for second gunman as no one else was near RFK to have shot him point blank) shot RFK with his .22.They then ask us to believe that this ‘killer’ held on to the gun for 3 MONTHS before he disposed of it.And he didn’t just dispose of it he SOLD it for around $15. Cesar wasn’t stupid but this very act was supremely stupid if he had murdered RFK.There isn’t anything more stupid in the annals of crime to match it.

    In other words Cesar carried out this sophisticated crime – he murdered someone in cold blood – yet didn’t immediately dispose of the murder weapon, which, if found on him or in his possession, would have guaranteed a life sentence or worse. This is what I mean by the application of logic in this case.

    One can only say with regard to the RFK assassination there is no evidence whatsoever to link mobsters with this crime.What you do have are ‘links’ in the form of A knew B who knew C who knew D therefore, conspiracists say, A must know D.

    The same type of conspiracy thinking exists with regard to the JFK case in the attempts to link Ruby with the mob.For sure, there were links but no one as yet has been able to prove they were any ‘nefarious’ links.

    Which brings us back to the issue of mob involvement in the RFK case – there is simply no credible evidence to say Sirhan was controlled or hired by the mob – no evidence whatsoever. I may as well harp on about Prince Philip as the person behind the death of Princess Diana – no one can say it isn’t true because you cannot disprove a negative. What you can say is – put up or shut up.

    I’m pleased to see your ranting has subsided – you’re probably a decent chap underneath it all – and you have chilled out – hope you like the book!

  29. Robert
    Posted July 8, 2007 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    To say that organized crime’s involvement in the RFK assassination is no more than a suspicion, is to ignore some pretty glaring and well established facts.

    For one thing, motive could hardly be clearer or more pronounced. It is not an exaggeration to say RFK was likely the most hated man amongst top figures in America’s Cosa Nostra. It is an established fact that a sizable contract was placed on RFK’s life. His work with the Rackets Committee is what provoked them originally. He exposed, badgered, and berated very powerful Mafia figures in front of the entire nation. As Attorney General he was relentless in his pursuit of certain very powerful figures in organized crime, and he made this the priority of the Justice Department to a degree not seen before or since. Predictably, a number of top Mafia bosses had very openly spoken of getting rid of Kennedy, and some made very specific threats which were repeated in sworn testimony by witnesses. One individual even claimed he was ordered to throw a hand grenade into RFK’s convertible, but baulked when he saw RFK had several of his children in the car with him. I could go on and on about motive. It’s the easiest part of the case to make.

    The argument showing organized crime had means is also an easy one to make. Is anyone going to try to suggest Cosa Nostra is unfamiliar with the means and methods of carrying out a very public execution in such a manner so as to avoid the legal consequences? They’ve done it successfully, hundreds of times. In fact, the vast majority of contract killings have been carried out without the consequence of anyone serving time in prison, and the relatively few times someone was successfully prosecuted, it has almost never been the boss who ordered the killing.

    Opportunity is the most interesting aspect of the RFK case. There’s a lot of confusion out there surrounding the meaning of this term in as far as it relates to a public killing like this. In most cases where the killing occurs with few if any witnesses present, opportunity refers to the time necessary to carry out the crime, and to questions of access the killer could have had to the victim. In the RFK killing, anyone who was standing near Kennedy when the shooting started can be said to have had opportunity, including both Sirhan Sirhan and Thane Cesar. Sirhan’s former employment by a mobster-owned legal gambling operation (horse track) is connection enough for any real investigation to conduct an extensive inquiry.

    Opportunity also can involve questions of cover, usually provided by individuals or organizations friendly to the perpetrators. If there was a conspiracy by organized crime behind the killing of RFK, they could have hardly picked a better place to do it in terms of friendly cover. The Los Angeles Police Department is well known to be one of the most infiltrated big city departments in the country, along with those of New Orleans, Chicago, and Miami. These departments are so mobbed-up that many federal agencies exclude them from any foreknowledge of important operations taking place right in their own jurisdictions. Federal operations targeting organized crime or those involving drug enforcement often turn up many connections to local law enforcement agencies.

    The LAPD’s ‘investigation’ never conducted an exploration of possible motives, means, or opportunity in the RFK case. They simply sought to prove Sirhan guilty. They didn’t follow standard investigative methods and instead engaged in witness intimidation, destruction of evidence, and outright deception. They have pretty much acknowledged all of this and only offered ridiculous excuses, while others like Moldea have tried to excuse their outrageous conduct for them, as incompetence.

    Ted Charach is the individual who has investigated the RFK killing in a fashion most consistent with the standard procedures officially prescribed by federal law enforcement agencies when pertaining to the murder of a high profile target. If anyone wants to learn where a genuine investigation would have taken the LAPD, had they been at all interested in conducting one, check out the facts Ted Charach has uncovered. I’ve provided a link to his personal website above.

    None of what Mel says about Thane Cesar, his mysterious .22 pistol, and Thane’s supposed stupidity regarding it, would even be known had it not been for the investigative prowess of Mr. Charach. The LAPD didn’t do anything to uncover any of it. Neither did the likes of Dan Moldea or our friend Mel. It was Mr. Charach, one of those loony ‘conspiracy theorists’, who is to be credited 100% for the discovery of Cesar’s mysterious second gun. Cesar and the LAPD lied about it. Those are facts.

  30. Posted July 8, 2007 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    There are a few glaring details that the coincidence theorists don’t like to talk about much: photos of the dark haired, pudge-nosed lady in the not-so-polka-dot dress; Don Schulman’s eyewitness reporting of the security guard ‘firing back at Sirhan’ and ‘accidentally’ hitting Kennedy; the strange story of the fundamentalist free-lance preacher Jerry Owen and his connection to Sirhan; the eyewitness accounts of the moment Sirhan purchased his pistol…and the list goes on. It’s interesting to watch them dance around these subjects. But there is one huge hole in their articles and books which I find most interesting, and extraordinary really. That enormous gap consists of anything and everything associated with the investigative work of Ted Charach. You wouldn’t know he exists if you only read things written by mercenaries like Dan Moldea and Mel Ayton. In fact, the mention of Charach’s work tends to ward these guys off like sunlight does vampires. It’s strange.

    Now your first thought might be that Charach is probably so outlandish in his claims that these ‘serious investigators’ just see no need to address him. But as I’ve said, Charach is the only reason we even know Cesar had a .22 in his possession in the first place. That’s pretty serious. It’s certainly a discovery of more importance and seriousness than all of the supposed contributions any of these other goofballs, combined. But it’s interesting…he gets no props.

    Now get this…you’re not going to believe it, but Charach has even recovered Cesar’s .22 from where a subsequent owner had attempted to dispose of it. This is the kind of thing our friends in the business of bringing us all to our senses never seem stumble upon while sitting in their studies writing their books. It is what is called “actual investigative work” in the business.

    See more on the story behind that and other interesting details at Ted Charachs website.

  31. Posted July 11, 2007 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    See what I mean? One mention of Charach, and everyone disappears. He’s the trump card. The coincidence theorists dare not speak his name.

    Lisa Pease, another RFK researcher, has done a lot to collect information regarding the woman in the polka dot dress, and other people who were seen with Sirhan. Here is a excerpt from one of her articles which mentions quite a few witnesses, and what they said they saw:

    —————————————————————
    One of the most intriguing figures in this case has been “The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress” who was seen with Sirhan immediately prior to the shooting, and who was subsequently witnessed running from the scene crying “We shot him! We shot him!” The LAPD tried to shut down this story by getting the two most public witnesses to retract their stories. But there were so many credible sightings of this girl that the police were forced to take a different tack. They identified first one, then a second woman as “the” girl, despite the fact that neither bore much of a resemblance to the girl described. Meanwhile, languishing unnoticed in the LAPD’s own files is the name of a far more likely candidate, someone who leads to a host of suspicious characters.

    Over a dozen witnesses gave similar descriptions of a girl in a polka-dot dress who for varying reasons drew their attention. The two most famous of these were Vincent DiPierro, a waiter at the Ambassador Hotel, and Sandy Serrano, a Kennedy volunteer. DiPierro first noticed Sirhan in the pantry because of the woman he saw “following” him. The LAPD interviewed him the morning of the shooting (Kennedy was shot at 12:15 A.M. the morning of June 5th). During one interview, DiPierro gave the following information about the girl:

    A (DiPierro): The only reason that he [Sirhan] was noticeable was because there was this good-looking girl in the crowd there.

    Q: All right, was the girl with him?

    A: It looked as though, yes.

    Q: What makes you say that?

    A: Well, she was following him.

    Q: Where did she follow him from?

    A: From–she was standing behind the tray stand because she was up next to him on–behind, and she was holding on to the other end of the tray table and she–like–—it looked as if she was almost holding him.

    DiPierro reported that he saw Sirhan turn to her and say something, to which she didn’t reply, but smiled. He said Sirhan had a sickly smile, and said “When she first entered, she looked as though she was sick also.” He described her as Caucasian and as about 20 or 21 years old, definitely no older than 24. She was “very shapely” and was wearing a “white dress with—it looked like either black or dark violet polka dots on it and kind of a [bib-like] collar.” He said her hair color was “Brown. I would say brunette,” “puffed up a little” and that it came to just above her shoulders. DiPierro told the FBI that she had a peculiar-looking nose.

    That same morning, Sandy Serrano had described to the LAPD a “girl in a white dress, a Caucasian, dark brown hair, about five-six, medium height…Black polka dots on the dress” in the company of a man she later recognized as Sirhan and another man in a gold sweater. She had seen this trio walk up the back stairs to the Ambassador earlier in the night. Sometime later, the girl and the guy in the gold sweater came running down the back stairs. Serrano recalled to the LAPD this encounter:

    She practically stepped on me, and she said “We’ve shot him. We’ve shot him.” Then I said, “Who did you shoot?” And she said, “We shot Senator Kennedy.”

    She described the girl’s attitude in this manner:

    “We finally did it,” like “Good going.”

    Serrano thought the girl was between the ages of 23 and 27, with her hair not quite coming to her shoulders, done in a “bouffant” style, wearing a polka dot dress with a bib collar and ? length sleeves. She also recalled that the girl had a “funny” nose.

    Ultimately, the LAPD pressured Serrano and DiPierro into backing down on these stories, getting each to admit they had first heard of the girl from the other, an impossibility the LAPD hoped would go unnoticed. Across page after page of witness testimony cover sheets Pena scrawled “Polka Dot Story Serrano Phoney”, “Girl in Kitchen I.D. Settled”, “Wit[ness] can offer nothing of further value” or “No further Int[erview].” But the interviews behind these sheets tell a different and compelling story.

    Dr. Marcus McBroom was in the pantry behind Elizabeth Evans, one of the shooting victims. He exited the kitchen through the double doors at the West end and noticed a brunette woman aged 20-26, medium build, “wearing a white dress with silver dollar size polka dots, either black or dark blue in color.” The report of his LAPD interview records what drew McBroom’s attention to the girl:

    This young lady showed no signs of shock or disbelief in comparison to other persons in the room and she seemed intent only on one thing—to get out of the ballroom.

    George Green was also in the pantry during the shooting, and reported seeing a girl in a polka dot dress (early 20s, blond hair) and a young, thin, taller male with dark hair. He saw this couple earlier in the night and after the shooting. Afterwards, Green stated, “They seemed to be the only ones who were trying to get out of the kitchen…Everyone else was trying to get in.”37

    Ronald Johnson Panda told the LAPD that a good-looking girl, about 5’6″, in a polka dot dress ran by him in the Embassy room immediately after the shooting yelling “They shot him.” He had seen her earlier that night carrying some drinks.

    Eve Hansen had talked to a girl in a “white dress with black or navy blue polka dots approximately the size of a quarter” who had dark brown hair that hung just above the shoulders, who had a “turned-up nose.” The girl gave Hansen money for a drink and Hansen ordered the drink. When she brought it back to her, the girl made a toast “To our next President” and shortly thereafter left the bar.

    Earnest Ruiz reported something he thought was odd to the police. He had watched a man and a girl in a polka dot dress run out of the hotel, but said the man later came back as Sirhan was being removed and was the first to yell, “Let’s kill the bastard.”

    Darnell Johnson, another pantry witness, told the police the following:

    While I was waiting [for Kennedy], I saw four guys and a girl about halfway between Kennedy and where I was standing. The girl had a white dress with black polka dots. During the time that a lady yelled, “Oh, my God,” they walked out. All except the one…this is the guy they grabbed [Sirhan]. The others that walked out seemed unconcerned at the events which were taking place.

    Johnson also told the police that he had received threatening phone calls and that his car brakes had been tampered with, causing a near-accident.

    Roy Mills also observed a group of five people, one of which was female, standing outside the Embassy Room as Kennedy was speaking. He claimed that Sirhan was one of the four males in the group, remembering him distinctly for his baggy pants. He thought one of the other men was a hotel employee. He couldn’t remember anything about the girl except that she was wearing a press pass. Curiously, Conrad Seim—who, like Serrano, DiPierro and Hanson, had noticed the girl’s “funny nose”—reported being asked by a girl in a white dress with black or navy polka dots for his press pass. He refused her request, but she came back about 15 minutes later. “She was very persistent,” he told the police. He thought the girl’s nose might have been broken at one time, and described her as Caucasian but with an olive complexion.

    Bill White saw a female Latin and two male Latins near the door of the embassy room. Their dress looked out of place. He also noticed a busboy wearing a white button-down jacket in the Anchor Desk area sweeping up cigarette butts where there were no butts to be swept up. He wasn’t sure this was really a busboy.

    Earnest Vallero was a job dispatcher for the Southern California Waiters Alliance. He reported that a man resembling Sirhan appeared at the union office two or three weeks prior to the assassination and requested placement as a waiter at the Ambassador Hotel. Vallero said the man got upset when he was refused, and flashed an Israeli passport.

    A Hungarian refugee “with absolutely no credentials at all”38 named Gabor Kadar had been turned away from the Embassy Room during the night, but found a waiter’s uniform, and donned it. Kadar later involved himself directly in the struggle to wrest the gun from Sirhan.

    Booker Griffin, another pantry witness who had reported seeing a woman in a polka dot dress,39 asked Richard Aubry, a friend of his who was also in the pantry during the shooting, “Did they get the other two guys?”40

    At about 9pm the night of the 4th, Irene Gizzi noticed a group of three people who “just didn’t seem to be dressed properly for the occasion.” Her LAPD interview report summarizes the events as follows:

    [Gizzi] saw a group of people talking who did not seem to fit with the exuberant crowd. Observed the female to be wearing a white dress with black polka dots; approximately the girl was standing with a male, possible Latin, dark sun bleached hair gold colored shirt, and possible light colored pants, possibly jeans. Possibly with suspect [Sirhan] as a third party….”

    A friend of Gizzi’s who was also present, Katherine Keir, gave a very similar description of this group, describing a male in a “gold colored sport shirt” and blue jeans, another man of medium build with a T-shirt and jeans, both with dark brown hair, and a girl in a black and white polka dot dress. Keir was standing at a stairway when the polka dot dress girl ran down yelling, “We shot Kennedy.” The police were able to persuade Keir to consider that she had heard the girl say instead, “Someone shot Kennedy.”

    Jeanette Prudhomme also saw two men, one of which looked like Sirhan and the other of which was wearing a gold shirt, in the company of a woman who appeared to be 28-30, with brown, shoulder length hair, wearing a white dress with black polka dots.

    A couple of people even recalled seeing this girl on the CBS broadcast. A Mr. Plumley, first name unrecorded, claimed he had seen a polka dot dress girl in the CBS broadcast the night of June 4th. Duncan Grant, a Canadian citizen, wrote the LAPD when he heard they were canceling their search for the polka dot dress girl, stating that he had seen her on the CBS broadcast. He wrote:

    “We could hear two shots fired and then another burst of shots. At this moment someone shouted that the Senator had been shot. There was more confusion and at this moment a young lady burst in on the picture and she shouted We have shot Kennedy then shouted again We have shot Senator Kennedy. She was what I would call half-running and she crossed right in front of the camera from left to right and disappeared from view.”

    Sirhan himself remembered talking to a girl shortly before he blacked out that night. According to Kaiser, one of Sirhan’s last memories is of giving coffee to a girl of “Armenian” or “Spanish” descent in the pantry:

    “This girl kept talking about coffee. She wanted cream. Spanish, Mexican, dark-skinned. When people talked about the girl in the polka-dot dress,” he figured, “maybe they were thinking of the girl I was having coffee with.”41

    Sirhan had been at the Ambassador the Sunday before election night. A girl matching the description of the polka dot dress girl was also seen there Sunday. Karen Ross described her to the LAPD as having a nose that had been “maybe fixed”, a white dress with black polka dots, ? length sleeves, dark blond hair worn in a “puff” and with a round face. Sirhan and a girl were also recorded as behaving suspiciously at a previous Robert Kennedy appearance in Pomona on May 20th.

    One man may have spent the last day of Kennedy’s life with this girl. While his tale is extraordinary, it is eerily credible for the nuances and details which matched other evidence of which he could not possibly have been aware. Kaiser and Houghton referred to this man by the pseudonym of “Robert Duane.” His real name is John Henry Fahey.42

    June 4th with the Mystery Girl

    At 9:15 A.M. on June 4th, Fahey entered the back of the Ambassador Hotel. He had planned to meet another salesman there 45 minutes earlier, but had left late and been held up in traffic. On his way up the back stairs, he noticed two men he thought looked Spanish. When they spoke, however, he realized it wasn’t Spanish because he knew Spanish. He presumed they were kitchen workers.

    While in the lobby area, he spotted a pretty girl and made a flirtatious comment to her. She asked him where the Post Office was, and he couldn’t help her, and she left. About ten minutes later, she returned. He invited her to join him for breakfast in the coffee shop at the hotel. She spoke “very good English” but also had a “slight accent” that he couldn’t place. He asked her where she was from. She said she had only been there three days, and that she was from Virginia. Fahey had a relative in Virginia, and asked her if she knew Richmond, whereupon the girl said she really had come from New York, and before that a middle-eastern country (“Iran” or “Iraq”, Fahey thought). She mentioned specifically Beirut. (Fahey had to ask his interviewer if there was a place named “Beirut”.) She also mentioned “Akaba”. When he asked her name, she gave him one, and soon another, and another. He didn’t know what her real name was. She, meanwhile, pumped him for as much information as she could get, asking his name, his occupation, and his business at the hotel. When he asked her about her own business, she said “I don’t want to get you involved…I don’t know if I can trust you to tell you the whole thing.”

    She told him that they were being watched, and indicated a man near the door of the coffee shop. Fahey saw a man he thought might be Spanish or Greek, resembling one of the men he had seen on the back stairs when entering the hotel. He thought the man resembled Sirhan, except that this man was taller and had sideburns. When later shown pictures of Sirhan’s family, Fahey said the man was not one of the Sirhan brothers.

    The girl wanted Fahey to help her get a passport. Fahey said he had no idea how to do that, at which point she explained to him that you just find a deceased person, use their Social Security Number and write to the place where he was born to get a passport. He said she seemed shaken, and very nervous, with clammy hands, and that she seemed to be genuinely in some sort of trouble.

    He described her as “Caucasian” but with an “Arab complexion, very light.” He called her hair “dirty-blond” and guessed her age might be 27-28. He said her clothes, shoes and purse were all tan. In addition, he felt the purse and stockings looked foreign. He also said “Her nose was of—on the hooked fashion where you can realize that she was from the Arabic world.” Asked if the nose was what one might call prominent, Fahey answered affirmatively.

    Fahey had business calls to make in Oxnard, and invited the girl to come along for the ride with him, since she seemed so troubled. When they got up to leave, she wanted to pay the bill, and opened a purse where he saw a fistful of money in her wallet—”big stuff—50 dollar bills—hundred dollar bills.”

    They drove up the coastal route through Malibu. Two different tails followed them for part of the way. At one point, Fahey was so nervous he pulled off the road, thinking the tail would leave him. As he started to get out of the car, he noticed the girl eyeing his keys, and thinking she might run off with his car, decided not to get out after all. During the ride, she said the people tailing them were “out to get Mr. Kennedy tonight at the winning reception.” He thought they should call the police to get rid of the tail but she insisted they should not call the police, and asked to be taken back to Los Angeles. In the end, although they drove to Oxnard, Fahey opted out of his sales calls and returned with the girl to the Ambassador Hotel. After driving and eating meals, they returned at around 7pm, where he dropped her off. She wanted him to come into the hotel with her. When he refused, she got angry.

    Fahey might not have thought of this incident again had it not been for the assassination and the story of the strange woman who ran out into the dark afterwards. A frightened Fahey called the FBI and told them he thought he might have spent the day with that woman. After talking to the FBI, Fahey read a story by journalist Fernando Faura in the Valley Times about the polka dot girl. He called Faura and told him he might know something about the girl. Faura was hot on the trail of the mystery girl, and took Fahey’s detailed description of the girl to a police artist. Fahey tweaked the image with the artist until he saw a match.

    Faura then showed the drawing to Vincent DiPierro. “That’s her,” DiPierro responded. “She’s the girl in the polka-dot dress. The girl’s face is a little fuller than this sketch has it, but this is the girl.”43 Faura then brought in Chris Gugas, a top Los Angeles polygraph operator, who put Fahey and his story through a lie detector. Faura told Fahey he passed the test “like a champion.”44

    Jordan Bonfante, the Los Angeles Bureau Chief of Life magazine, was interested in publishing Faura’s account. Hank Hernandez of SUS, however, was busy trying to crack Fahey under his own polygraph test. Under pressure from Hernandez, Fahey told an untruth, saying it was Faura who had persuaded him to connect the girl he was with to the polka dot girl. But Fahey had made the connection to the FBI long before he ever spoke with Faura. But this lie was pronounced “true” by Hank Hernandez, proving again that a polygraph’s value depends a great deal upon the integrity of the operator. Sgt. Phil Alexander tried to persuade Bonfante that Fahey was not credible, and that Life shouldn’t run the story on the girl. Kaiser amusingly recounts this incident:

    “I don’t think you’ve really proved that [Fahey] was mistaken,” said Bonfante. He was right. It was practically impossible to do so. But if the police didn’t do so, the implications were that there was a girl who knew something about the Kennedy assassination and that the police couldn’t find her. That was a black eye for the department.

    To Bonfante, this sounded too much like Catch 22 to be true. He decided to discover how important this was to the LAPD and let Alexander talk. Six hours later, Alexander was still talking, and had not yet managed to persuaded Bonfante there was no “girl in the polka dot dress.”45
    —————————————————————
    – Lisa Pease (see above for the link to her blog)

  32. Peter Fokes
    Posted July 12, 2007 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Robert,

    I have never met or talked to Mel Ayton. I provided him with some images of a woman in a polka dress in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. He has used one of those images in his article on the HNN, and credited my discovery of this image in the cutline to the photo.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am a conspiracy analyst. As far as “good listeners” go, I have no idea what you are talking about. Mel Ayton has never said such a thing to me, nor have I ever read anything by him that suggests such a thing. Perhaps you can direct me to this Ayton comment.

    I had never heard of this forum until a recent survey of my name on the web turned up this page. I have no connection to this forum, and know none of the participants. I have no idea who you are either, Robert.

    If someone has a question about the image I discovered, please feel free to contact me on the alt.assassination.jfk newsgroup. I assist John McAdams in moderating the newsgroup.

    Regards

    Peter Fokes

  33. Posted July 12, 2007 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Peter,

    Thank you for visiting this thread on Mark Maynard’s site, and for providing the information regarding the alt.assassination.jfk newsgroup.

    My comment, “conspiracy theorists like Peter Fokes generally aren’t good listeners” was my own re-wording and response to the following statement Mel’s posted on HNN.us: “Last year Dan Moldea and myself attempted to drum some sense into them but they simply weren’t listening” (referring to ‘conspiracists’) You can see his comments in their entirety at the link directly above.

    I am sorry I singled you out in my comments (except for the fact that in doing so I drew you to this site for comment). I was really just trying to express my own attitude about the listening skills of ‘conspiracy theorists’ in general, as well as pretty much everyone on the other side, including Mel. Most of all I was trying to corner Mel into answering specific questions.

    Please accept my apologies for using your name so specifically in my insult of ‘conspiracy theorists’. I do think, however, both sides should not only pose the questions that they have, but should also take the time to respond as thoughtfully as they can to questions posed by the other side.

    And now that I’ve said that, it might be a good idea for me to actually do that myself. Mel has raised some questions here and on the HNN site that I feel deserve thoughtful responses from me. So far I’ve mostly been acting like a jackass, and just throwing stuff out there.

    As far as your comment that “you have never heard of this forum” goes, I must say I am shocked! You, my friend, have stumbled upon what is no less than the 10th most influential political blog in the state of Michigan! So be careful with your words here. You are helping shape the very destiny of over 10 million Michiganders. I learned this the hard way.

    Try as I have for the past several months, I too have no connection to this forum, and know none of the participants. In fact, I am now pretty sure they all have me on ‘ignore’ or something. They must. How else could it be explained that I have not yet rocketed to spectacular heights of notoriety?

    In all seriousness, I do appreciate your coming to this thread and posting a response. I look like an idiot here most of the time, talking to myself about the RFK thing.

    I invite you to respond to anything I or Mel have said here. I think it would be interesting to hear more from you. Maybe you can explain why it is that you consider yourself a conspiracy analyst, as opposed to a theorist.

    I hate those other sites you guys have been posting to, like HNN and the Education Forum. All the discussions seem to be closed, or just forgotten about. We should try to get all the discussion to come here, and drive Mark’s memory costs through the roof.

  34. Robert
    Posted July 17, 2007 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    There are so many holes in Mel’s comments about Thane Cesar, I don’t know where to start. First, Cesar WAS stupid. Anyone who watches or listens to interviews with him can confirm that. Suggesting that he wasn’t makes me wonder about you, Mel. Second, nobody is suggesting Cesar was somehow a mastermind behind anything. It’s another one of Mel’s go-to straw-man arguments. Cesar is obviously a stooge. It doesn’t take a genius to pull a trigger, and no bright guy would allow himself to be put in that position. In an organized hit, blaming Cesar is the first fall-back position in the event the Sirhan lone-assassin story comes apart. Why is that so hard to fathom, Mel?

    Cesar didn’t do anything that could be considered carrying out a “sophisticated crime.” Why would you say that? He pulled a trigger a few times. How is that sophisticated? If Gordon Campbell was unable to get the gun from Cesar, they would have certainly gone to the fall-back position of making Cesar take the fall too. The back story on him was already set up to be a very convincing one. I don’t see why this seems so extraordinary to you, Mel. Have you not heard of set-ups like this in contract killings of high profile targets?

  35. Robert
    Posted July 17, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Mel did say more, but he posted to the HNN site, instead of here. Here’s what he wrote:
    ———————————
    Mr Rowe,
    You say, with regard to “listening” to the Education Forum members, “I believe you when you say they weren’t listening. Of course that doesn’t prove you do.” This is a non sequiter and risible in the extreme. Dan Moldea and I afforded these buffs a considerable amount of our time explaining why and how they were wrong – but it didn’t sink in. They have spent years attempting to “prove” JFK/MLK and RFK were assassinated as the result of conspiracies yet they have not provided one ounce of credible evidence to support their theses – they simply want to believe it was so.Vincent Bugliosi’s understanding of this type of mind-set is especially informative – I recommend his book “Reclaiming History”.

    You wrote: “I can promise you that when a federal judge or attorney ends up dead in an apparent random act of violence, it is not accepted as such just because there is apparently an immediate and obvious explanation. Many possible more sinister scenarios are considered and investigated simply because of who the victim was”… However, that is not at all the approach the LAPD took in the RFK case, and that is highly unusual. However, you seem to be aware of no other approach from what I’ve read so far. What you have read is severely limited and I suggest you spend some time researching this case. If you read Robert Houghton’s book you will understand how the SUS did not treat this case as a simple murder – a simple act of violence as you put it. Their investigation was far-ranging, more so than an “average murder”, but it was certainly flawed as most murder investigations are, including the murders of prominent individuals. You keep harping on about the SUS unvestigation as though it never came under any form of criticism – you’ll find those criticisms in Dan Moldea’s book and my own.

    I also did not “suggest that the RFK killing should be investigated using the assumptions made if he were just any average guy”. You pulled that one out of your conspiracy hat. The investigation was certainly not carried out with these assumptions.You also say the LAPD was BS-ing about the destruction of the photos but you provide absolutely no evidence to prove it. Like the Education Forum ( a misnomer!) members you simply have a desire to believe it.

    As to Peter Fokes’s photo of “Sirhan” – I leave it up to the readers to judge. I believe any rational-minded person will agree that it looks more like a gargoyle than a “Sirhan look-alike”. On the other hand, the photos I provide in my article do identify someone who actually looks like the assassin.
    ———————————

    Mr Ayton,
    My comment suggesting the possibility that you were not a good listener was not an argument. It would have to be an argument to be a non sequiter, wouldn’t it? Maybe I should just be more direct…OK, Mel, you’re not a good listener. So attacking ‘conspiracy theorists’ as such strikes me as a bit odd.

    So beside being “risible,” my statement is also true…isn’t it? I mean, that’s kinda the important part of a statement, wouldn’t you say. My meaning: Pointing out the faults of others in no way provides proof that you do not share those faults. Is that statement not true?

    I have a lot of questions for you, Mel. In just writing them all out, I think I could put together a book m’self. For example, in your comments, when you attack these people you lump together as ‘conspiracy theorists’ does that group happen to include Ted Charach?

    I ask because if it does, then that would render several of your statements as dead wrong. You said, “they have not provided one ounce of credible evidence to support their theses – they simply want to believe it was so.” The discovery of the existence of Cesar’s .22 certainly does qualify as at least an ounce of evidence, does it not? And it wasn’t the LAPD’s “far-ranging” investigation that discovered it, was it? Now, why do you suppose it is that this extraordinary investigation didn’t manage to uncover such a disturbing fact, and so close to the basic facts of what happened in the pantry? Your SUS “far-ranging” investigation seems to have been rather shallow, Mel. Can you explain this?

    Spending a lot of money and man-hours on a case does not a thorough investigation make. The fact that those corrupt LAPD morons didn’t even discover Cesar’s possession of a .22 at the time of the murder, nor his blatant deception regarding it, was not the only easily discovered tidbit they walked right past. Even Moldea acknowledges how miserable the job was that they did. In fact, it’s pretty much the only real point he makes successfully in his book.

    You’re sort of a Johnny-Come-Lately to this case, Mel. It’s been 15 years since I took an in-depth look into the RFK case, so I am sure my knowledge appears pretty limited at the moment. The really embarrassing thing, however, is that I can still present you with questions for which you seem to have no real answers. You dodge quite a bit for a guy with such confidence in your position. And YOU just wrote a book on the subject. Not a good sign, Mel.

  36. mark
    Posted July 17, 2007 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for bringing the debate back here to MM.com where it belongs, Rob.

  37. Posted July 18, 2007 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I’ve been trying. But I think my screwball style has been working against me. It’s hard for me to get people to take me seriously when I am goofing off so much. My laziness in proofreading my comments probably doesn’t help much either.

    The truth is though, I honestly DO know how to debate in a structured fashion. And I have no doubt guys like Mel and Moldea (or Bugliosi for that matter), would come apart under direct questioning. The trick is suckering them into that type of situation.

    Over the past 6 years we have all seen how a complete moron can go around reading speeches and avoiding direct questioning. We’ve watched, frustrated, as this somehow allows them to maintain an illusion that there is validity to what they are doing and saying (at least in the perceptions of a shockingly large percentage of the population).

    Guys like Mel write books. They generally aren’t members of debating societies. They like to broadcast their opinions, not question themselves. Again, don’t get me wrong, I like Mel. He’s a good guy, and a good writer. But I don’t think he’d last five minutes under real questioning. A real investigator would handle it easily.

    I originally saw Mel’s posts on HNN, and attacked him when I noticed how much he loves the straw-man approach. That stuff always irks me. Going out and finding the goofiest conspiracy theories to debunk, instead of addressing the discoveries of the few very serious researchers is just such an underhanded way of trying to look legit.

    Hell, I’m still pissed I wasted $19.95 on Moldea’s book back in 1995. A lot of people like to talk about it like it’s the definitive research piece on the RFK case, but the thing is just 300 pages of incredibly hollow junk. It reads like one of my college research papers…and I’m talking about the ones I used to wait until the last few days before the turn-in date to write. If you read Moldea’s book, you’d be certain he had an intern ghost write the whole thing. I’d be willing to bet even Moldea hasn’t read it.

    At least Mel can write. I guess that is part of the reason I am so annoyed with him…I’d like to see a good writer do a serious investigation, or at least get together with a serious investigator and write a good book with them. God knows Charach could use that. He’s a good investigator who is not good at all with writing, or web presence for that matter. Charach’s website is very amateurish, and ridiculously I think it hurts his credibility with many people.

    The closest thing Mel ever shows to possessing true investigative skills is when he manages to dig up some obscure idiot who’s making easily debunked conspiracy claims. That is assuming, I guess, that Mel didn’t plant ’em in the first place.

  38. Robert
    Posted July 23, 2007 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    So now eight months have passed since the BBC ran Shane O’Sullivan’s piece. But for some reason, not one of these brilliant researchers, such as Ayton or Moldea, have yet done the most obvious thing. Think of it. What relatively simple bit of research could one of these people provide which would certainly devastate O’Sullivan’s claims, and in doing so gain for themselves status and notoriety? What would that be?…ah…how about discovering the ‘true’ identity of the individuals in the photos. Yes, it should be a relatively simple matter. How hard could it be to track down three guys (or just one for that matter) who were standing so prominently there in the photos? If they were just regular guys, as people like Ayton and Moldea are so convinced, there shouldn’t be much trouble at all in identifying them, right? If fact, wouldn’t the LAPD’s oh so thorough and extensive investigation have done that in their original ‘investigation?’ Of course they would have.

    So that’s strange. Why hasn’t anyone just gone out and found out who these regular guys were? They had to be just your average guys in business suits who just happen to be in the neighborhood of the Ambassador Hotel that night so they decided to show up and hang around a campaign rally. They weren’t campaign workers or news people because of course those individuals were all identified back then.

    What are your theories, Mel? Who could these guys be? Can you just go back to the extensive notes I’m sure you took in your research for your book, and just pull out those names for us? We’d be really appreciative.

  39. Robert
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to use Mark’s blog here as the stage from which I will issue a public, formal challenge, and to which I will attach a cash reward.

    I am willing to pay $1,000 to the individual, or group of individuals, who can successfully argue in a formal public debate, the position that Sirhan acted alone.

    I will only ask that the debate be conducted formally and under courtroom rules, with right of cross examination, and with the final determination being made by a jury selected from volunteers, screened and approved by both sides.

    This debate would take place on June 5th, 2008, to mark the 40th anniversary of RFK’s assassination. So there would be plenty of time for both sides to research and prepare a complete case.

    Do I have any takers?

  40. Posted April 16, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    We are less than two months out from the 40th anniversary of RFK’s assassination, and though all those seemingly ultra-confident coincidence theorists out there have had half a year to take me up on this challenge and easily walk away with a thousand dollars, nobody has done it.

    Of course many people love conspiracy theories. That’s not news. But as anyone who’s paid attention through an introductory logic course can tell you, simply pointing out that fact is not in any way the equivalent of making an argument. In fact, it’s dodging argument, and dodging is a tactic which suggests a person either knows they have a weak position or that have difficulty thinking in logical terms.

    If I had a million dollars I would have put it up in my challenge without hesitation, because I had absolutely no fear that there was actually anyone out there who can convincingly defend the lone nut scenario in the RFK case.

    I will be officially withdrawing my challenge by midnight, May 5th. I would at least like one month to prepare my arguments, in the event that someone out there actually has balls as prominent as their mouths and assumptions.

  41. Posted June 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Shane O’Sullivan just released his feature documentary RFK Must Die along with his book titled Who Killed Bobby?

    O’Sullivan was the featured guest on the overnight radio program Coast to Coast, hosted by Fred Noory. I thought the interview was a little dull. The most interesting thing I heard on the show was a call-in from a lady in California who shared a personal experience from the time which she came to believe was likely related to a highway shooting targeting Sirhan’s brother which took place in the aftermath of the RFK assassination.

  42. Robert
    Posted June 6, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    ‘ = ‘

    …and damn what’s with my run-on sentences! I guess I’m tired from staying up all night listening to wacky radio.

  43. Michael Calder
    Posted July 26, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Richard Helms & Sirhan Sirhan

    December 17, 1963 Helms memo to Deputy Director CIA

    For over a decade the Clandestine Services has had the mission of maintaining a capability for influencing human behavior. The present investigation is concerned with chemicaql agents which are effective in modifying the behavior and function of the central nervous system.
    (1) Materials which will render the induction of HYPNOSIS easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness.
    (2) Materials and physical methods which will produce AMNESIA for events PRECEDING and DURING their use.
    (3) Substances which alter personality structures in such a way that the tendency oftherecipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced.

  44. Michael Calder
    Posted July 26, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Evan Freed Affidavit:

    I saw the second man (wearing the darker clothing)who had been in the pantry with Sirhan during the speech pointing a gun in an upward angle at the Senator. Based on the sound I heard, I believe the first shot came from this man’s gun. In the background, about 6-8 feet from me, I could see Sirhan firing a revolver held in his right hand in the direction of the Senator. People in the crowd were screaming and grabbing Sirhan, and I remember they were holding his arm as he was shooting. I cannot say how many shots were fired by Sirhan or by the second gunman.

  45. Robert
    Posted July 27, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I guess the host of “Coast to Coast” is actual George Noory, not Fred Noory as I said a few comments up.

    Anyway, Michael Calder, you wouldn’t happen to be the actor who played the congressman in “Thank You For Smoking” would you?

  46. Robert
    Posted July 27, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I guess the host of “Coast to Coast” is actually George Noory, not Fred Noory as I said a few comments up.

    Anyway, Michael Calder, you wouldn’t happen to be the actor who played the congressman in “Thank You For Smoking” would you?

  47. G.H. Monore
    Posted January 7, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Is it really THAT outlandish that the same people who wanted Jack Kennedy out of office would want to prevent Robert Kennedy from being elected? Especially considering that he might have SOME interest, once in possession of the authority, in finding out who killed his brother?

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