Plain Talk Four
“Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers”.
I recently read writer/researcher Jim DiEugenio’s interesting article on the internet “Will Sirhan be Retried? Pepper and Dusek Advance the RFK case” May, 2011 for CTKA. That prompted me to add a few additional thoughts - therefore -
# 1 - I open Plain Talk Four with my observations of some of Sirhan’s attorneys and their impact on his case.
Some lawyers were seriously compromised; some were plainly indifferent; some adored their image in the mirror; some suffered from a bad case of “the slows” (President Lincoln’s description of major- general George McClellan) ; some basked in the attention a trophy client generates and then there were at least two who were genuinely sincere lawyers who believed Sirhan suffered from a memory block of the crime and earnestly wanted to help.
# 2 - Sirhan attorney Lawrence Teeter was one of the lawyers who honestly believed Sirhan did not kill RFK and worked tirelessly for years on Sirhan’s behalf ( he and I fought a great deal - mostly about his late court filings and unfortunately there were some serious errors which he failed to correct and that of course made the rift even wider). Adel was the peacemaker - but with his untimely death it all unraveled. One of the major problems lay in the fact that Teeter was a struggling attorney who also had to deal with some trying health issues. Not being able to afford the luxury of a secretary - he was simply overpowered and terribly outnumbered by the government’s vast resources. One little person could do just so much for his client - but in the end he was no match for the uneven system he was operating under. It is much like a lone gladiator being pitted against all of the might of the Roman Empire.
# 3 - Sirhan’s brother Adel and I were frustrated with those very real problems and so we thought it might be helpful if Larry had some help . With that in mind one day we all drove up to Corcoran Prison to discuss this urgent matter with Sirhan. Both Adel and I told Sirhan of our deep concerns about Larry’s difficulties. He ( Larry )was present at this meeting as we wanted Sirhan to weigh all ideas then decide for himself what would be the best course to take. Adel and I told Sirhan that we were very impressed with the very gutsy and bright Reno, Nv. attorney Ken McKenna and thought he would be of immense help. This demanding case was really too much for one lawyer to handle.
# 4 - What started out as a routine meeting soon degenerated into a near hair-pulling ,shouting match between Teeter and me. Adel pleaded: “Lynn everybody can hear” (the prison visiting room was packed ) so we tried , though not always successful, to keep our voices down. Finally, after Sirhan listened to Adel, Larry and me, Sirhan told Larry he agreed with Adel and me and asked Larry to invite attorney Ken McKenna to join the case. Visitors in Corcoran Prison were permitted a very generous six hours to visit with the prisoners (San Quentin allowed only one hour visits) so Sirhan had plenty of time to discuss this problem and make a decision. With the visit over, we were approaching the exit door and next to us was Charlie Manson , walking with his visitor, Manson looked at me and said “good for you”. Sirhan smiled. (I felt lawyers should listen to differing ideas and not try to control the case with deaf ears) apparently Manson overheard our loud argument.
# - 5 It will be remembered that Sirhan included my name along with family members in granting Limited Power of Attorney to hire and/ or dismiss attorneys to represent him. In fact it was I who brought Larry into Sirhan’s case with the understanding that if the work load proved to be too much that we bring in extra help. He readily agreed to those terms. That was made absolutely clear at the time of Teeter’s entry in the case. And so our asking for McKenna’s help was not at all unexpected .
# 6 - I want to add few words about that obsolete Limited Power of Attorney that was over twenty years old. After Adel died there remained only Munir and me who shared that responsibility. Mary was still alive but was no longer an active participant. With Adel’s death I knew it was simply out of the question for me to work with Munir. What I did next proved to be a turning point. I notified both Larry and Sirhan that that out-dated Limited Power of Attorney was useless if I wanted to access evidence which was denied to me, e.g. the Kennedy suit jacket ,the Druly test bullets or even the reportedly destroyed DROS I needed an updated, non-restricting
Power of Attorney to overcome those restrictions.. But Larry strongly objected to any changes and I thought, can I live with that ? - of course I can. But I couldn’t ignore the uncorrected errors in the writ. I really had enough so I walked out into the fresh air leaving Cerberus in full charge (Larry always laughed when I referred to him by that name).
Here then is a brief background of Reno, Nv. Attorney Ken McKenna:
# 7 - Attorney Ken McKenna achieved notoriety in the late 1980’s when he represented two young men who had entered into a suicide pact after listening repeatedly to Heavy Metal band Judas Priest song “Better By You Better Than Me”
This first impression case alleged that the Band and their label CBS Records were liable for inserting subliminal messages on the album which when uncovered repeated the command Do it. Do it”
The claim was that subliminal messages combined with the overt lyrics of the song “compelled” the boys to believe the answer to life’s problems was death.
Experts were draw from throughout the United States to testify on the effects of subliminal messages in music on susceptible young minds. The trial was covered by all the major news media and Attorney McKenna was extensively interviewed by media outlet around the World including the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan.
Attorney McKenna proved himself an aggressive trial advocate for his clients willing to go up against the most powerful corporations in the music industry.
This litigation made history and is still studied by legal scholars and social scientists to this day. With that impressive background Adel and I hoped he would join the case.
# 8 - Teeter complied with Sirhan’s request and did bring McKenna on board. Then he went about his business as if no agreement had taken place. Nothing changed. I knew without a doubt Teeter liked and respected McKenna. Still Larry went on working alone as if nothing happened. Perhaps Teeter felt McKenna’s impressive background would overshadow his own lead position. The truth is that the case had become a territorial issue with Larry. It was Larry’s case - period. And he stood guard over it , like Cerberus over his charges. So it was over.
# 9 -Click here Now attorney Russell Parsons was a horse of a different color. His background also was compromised although not as recent as Cooper’s problems in the Friar’s case. The records clearly show that Parsons was in serious trouble with the law early in his career and I find it most odd that on each occasion he was given a free pass.
# 10 - Sirhan’s late entry trial attorney was Emile Zola Berman. He too was in hot water because it was Berman who leaked the ultra -secret guilty plea deals to the Eastern news reporters before the jury was sequestered. (think how devastating that was to Sirhan’s defense) This information (that Berman was the source of the leaks) was given to me by Grant Cooper in the presence of attorney Godfrey Isaac (while we were on stand-by at the San Francisco airport on New Year’s eve in 1973) and fully corroborated by both Ron Einstoss and Robert Blair Kaiser.. He too (Berman) was given a free pass (because trial judge Walker failed to question everyone who was present in the judge’s chambers during those secret plea talks). Even the court reporter was not permitted in Judge Walker’s chambers during those talks. Therefore, no written record of those (two) secret plea talks exists .I was disgusted with such doings.
# 11 Now, I’m really going to speak my mind. I wonder -is it possible that there are some lawyers (who are seriously compromised ) who quietly serve the prosecution and roll over for them? Much like “snitches” do??? Can such a terrible thing really be going on? If so, our judicial system is most assuredy on life support.
# 12 - - Speaking of bad conduct let us not forget the sub rosa meeting in Judge Loring’s chambers which dealt with storage and protection of the trial evidence and where it was to be housed now that the trial had ended. It will be remembered that NOT ONE member of the Sirhan defense team was notified in advance of that secret meeting (the date of that infamous meeting was May 16, 1969). And five days later trial judge Walker casually informed Cooper in court of results of the meeting . I discovered that conference when it was referenced in the Sirhan Trial Transcript. Wasn’t that odd? But there is more.
It was at that very meeting when the Judge Loring court order was issued governing restrictions to future access to the Sirhan Trial Evidence. (Why Judge Loring’s chambers and not Judge Walker‘s chambers?) Anyone wishing to examine the Sirhan Trial Exhibits would be required to state the reason in writing for wanting to examine the evidence and secure a court order. How was it possible that the defense team was barred from this important post-conviction conference? And in a different judge’s chambers! (I think it was to keep the defense in the dark - slippery little devils)
# 13 - When I carefully examined the wording in that court order I clearly saw that Deputy D.A. David Fitts was uncomfortable with it. Why? Well, how was it possible to enforce a court order at a future date (governing trial evidence ) when the defense attorneys were barred from the very meeting which in fact issued that court order? Then too, let us not forget that literally all of the ballistics evidence was stipulated to in a prior secret agreement - this time with both sides present - in trial judge Walker’s chambers. That of course is seen in Sirhan Trial Transcript, page 3967. The fact is there is no chain of custody for the ballistics evidence - no foundation - nothing was proven up.
Fitts knew it would be impossible to carry out such a court order in the future. And sure enough that is precisely what happened. In 1971 the trial evidence was examined sans court order by criminalist William Harper when Sirhan appellate attorney George Shibley wrote a letter to court clerk Sours authorizing Harper be given access to Sirhan evidence.
# 14 -( to digress for a moment - in the early 1990’s I spoke with Sirhan about bringing in experts to examine and photograph the evidence along with all of the attached documents and records. Arrangements were made with the staff at the California State Archives for my examiner and me to proceed with our examination. I want to point out I also did not have a court order).
# 15 -Click here Shortly after Harper was permitted to examine the Sirhan trial evidence (1971) in the court clerk’s office he made a monumental discovery which began to create quite a stir. That of course led to the convening of a Grand Jury investigation into the conduct of the court clerks for failing to comply with the terms of the Judge Loring court order !!! The fundamental question centered on how that court order was allowed to be circumvented - how did persons (Harper was the obvious offender) gain access to the evidence without the required court order? And so the finger-pointing began in earnest.
But that exercise was really one giant ruse. You see, a thunderous noise was being made by publicly blaming the court clerks - I believe the charge was malfeasance. All eyes were focused on their conduct - away from the very real problem:
# 16 -The real problem was Harper’s monumental discovery of the wrong gun ID number ( H18602) on Sirhan Trial Exhibit People’s 55 evidence envelope . The test bullets in Peo. Ex 55 evidence envelope were fired from a gun other than Sirhan’s gun ! That second gun had once been owned by Jake Williams who had been arrested in March of 1967 on burglary suspicion and was subsequently released . Upon his release Williams failed to reclaim his gun (he was probably scared out of his wits). The Jake Williams gun therefore became the property of the LAPD in March ,1967 and was stored in LAPD Property Division. (LAPD Officer Druly test fired gun H18602 on March 18 in 1967- for comparison test bullets - but that‘s another story)). It was the ser. ID # of the Jake Williams gun which was recorded on Peo. Ex 55 evidence envelope in the Sirhan case on June 5 /6 (the date #6- was superimposed over the number 5). Even a child can see that a gun legally owned by LAPD - and not Sirhan- was used for comparison test bullets in Sirhan trial. (Peo. Ex 55).
# 17 - So, chop - chop a Grand Jury was convened to look into the court clerks’ failure to comply with Judge Loring’s Court Order restriction and NOT on Harper’s monumental discovery. In short, the charge of the clerks’ malfeasance was the focus of attention and not on Harper’s most extraordinary and shocking discovery (wrong ID # on Peo’s 55).
# 18 - Luke was concentrating on search and seizure violations, therefore was unaware of that judge Loring/judge Walker May 16’68 sub rosa meeting and so when I brought it to McKissack’s attention Luke immediately questioned attorney Cooper about it. What followed next was Cooper agreeing to furnish Luke McKissack with a Declaration about that entire affair. I read drafts one and two of Cooper’s Declaration , then mysteriously nothing more. The matter ended without an explanation. Apparently Cooper’s Declaration fell off a cliff. By the way, what clearly came through in Cooper’s on again-off again Declaration was the slap in the face he felt that morning on May 21’68 when judge Walker told him what had taken place on May 16.How do judge’s get away with doing such things? And what about the prosecutors and defense attorneys? Don’t they know there is a higher law?
# 19 - So why is that so significant? Well, for starters stop and think - since virtually all of the ballistics evidence was stipulated to by that secret prior agreement (in trial judge Walker’s chambers) there was no foundation for the ballistics evidence. Absolutely nothing was proven up. So what followed next was that slippery Loring/Walker secret meeting to put the necessary roadblocks in place to keep the Sirhan Trial ballistics evidence away from prying eyes. I kid you not.- Also , how was one to deal with GJ5B?
# 20 - It was at that time that I received a clear copy of the entire transcript of the May 16, 1969 proceedings in Judge Loring’s chambers. That copy now resides in the Lee Institute along with my other donated research files and records. Then years later while researching SUS records I found there were only a few pages of the Loring/Walker transcript which were virtually unreadable. I was able to identify what they were only because I was familiar with the contents. Truly, this sort of thing is pretty bad.
# 21 - It is important to keep in mind that the RFK assassination investigation was, at an early time, taken out of the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department by Special Unit Senator, therefore there was no time for SUS to order their own official Special Unit Senator Department forms. In that emergency situation SUS used the official Los Angeles Police Department forms for their reports. That was really misleading for a researcher. How was it possible for anyone to distinguish an SUS generated report from an authentic LAPD report if SUS used LAPD official forms? It simply can’t be done. They are two completely different animals living in the same burrow.
This section is for advanced researchers only - beginners will waste their time.
# 22 - I will share my findings of why the date on Peo Ex 55 Evidence envelope was altered (the number six was superimposed over the number five). LAPD Property Reports record receiving “gun, revolver Iver Johnson “cadet” B/S 21/2 “ BBL 8 shot cal .22, #H53725” The time was recorded as being 1:45 AM dated 6-5-68. I then examined and compared that information with Wolfer’s Log and sure enough on 6-5-68 there is an entry re the time-line for the revolver. However there are several immediate discrepancies. One is the time recorded as 1:45 p.m. when it realistically should have been hours earlier. The wrong Item number was recorded for the gun ! Item # 22 was recorded when it should have been Item # 11. I noted that directly beneath recording the gun’s incorrect Item #22 the 8 expended shell casings were recorded as “Item 12”. (which would logically follow Item #11for the gun). And, most importantly there is NO SERIAL NUMBER recorded for the gun !! Then at 2:00 p.m. there are entries for “Laboratory, Examined Iver Johnson to determine number of shots fired. Type of ammunition used. Working conditions of weapon.” I noted there is no mention of test firing weapon serial ID # H53725. I find that most extraordinary!
# 23 - Another extraordinary thing I find is that on 6-6-68, the same date of the autopsy when Dr. Noguchi removed the Kennedy neck bullet (Peo. Ex. 47) there is an entry in Wolfer’s Log : “9:00 p.m. Comparison of Kennedy and Goldstein bullets” (known at a later date as Special Ex. 10) - which is precisely what the seven examiners identified when they recreated Special Exhibit 10 (in the 1975 Judge Wenke court ordered re-examination). Here we see Wolfer correctly identified the Kennedy/Goldstein comparison bullets - which “J.W.” (Jimmy Watson) photographed on 6-6-68 !!!! Note, Wolfer did not write in his Log the incorrect “ Kennedy/test” bullet comparison (Special Ex 10) which was later wrongly laid at his feet !!!!!!! I know I’m losing you, dear reader, but this is really so important that it cannot be ignored. This truly supports my stating that Wolfer was not responsible for the bullet substitutions that were taking place. Wolfer did in fact CORRECTLY identify in his log the comparison bullets he was given - the substitute Kennedy- substitute Goldstein bullets which later became known as Special Exhibit 10. However, there still remains the greater problem of the WRONG ID markings on the bases of both the Kennedy and the Goldstein bullets in Special Exhibit 10. Simply stated - Kennedy/Goldstein comparison bullets in Special Exhibit 10 were imposter substitute bullets. That is an irrefutable fact which I discovered in the Official Patrick Garland court-ordered Evidence Inventory (in 1975).
This subject is covered in great detail in my Special Exhibit 10 Report, therefore I will not repeat it here.
# 24 - Remember , the first test- firing of a gun in Sirhan case was on June 5, 1968 by LAPD Officer Melendez (GJ5B). The serial number of that gun is H53725 and was received in evidence as Grand Jury #7 by the LA County Grand Jury on 6-7-68 However - the LACGJ did NOT record that gun’s serial number in the Transcript !
# 25 - The Jake Williams test bullets in Peo. Ex. 55 evidence envelope (from gun H18602) were used in the Sirhan trial - but not the test bullets from Grand Jury 5B .( these are the bullets which were test fired from gun GJ #7 - serial ID #H53725 ). Tell me, how does one explain that?
# 26 - Now let’s take a look at the Jake Williams gun (ser. # H18602) which was test-fired by firearms expert LAPD Officer DeWayne Wolfer on June 5, 1968 with the gun he was given - the Jake Williams gun- H18602. Ah - but think - that can’t be possible! Because, on that same date ( 6-5-68) Officer Melendrez test-fired a gun whose serial number is H53725. This means that two different LAPD Officers test- fired TWO different guns on 6-5-68. Since that posed a giant problem - someone -not- DeWayne Wolfer- altered the date on Peo Ex 55 Evidence envelope by superimposing the number 6 over the number 5 . Handwriting expert , LAPD Officer Woodward identified the writing on Peo Ex 55 evidence envelope as that belonging to DeWayne Wolfer. Most assuredly Wolfer was given H18602 to test fire for comparison test bullets.. I know this to be true because there are no identifying evidence tags or envelopes in existence for gun Grand Jury #7 serial number H53725 - at the California State Archives. The Trapp/Howard Memo 100% supports my charges.
# 27 - Additionally, I personally examined the changed numbers (5 to 6 ) on Peo. Ex 55 Evidence envelope at the California State Archives where I saw that alteration up close. Frankly, at the time , I was really reluctant to speak out about it. Who would believe me? When I broached the subject to Lowell Bradford his stinging response was: “Lynn, why would you make such an irrational statement ? ” Those were his words and I will never forget them. From then on I had to be more careful about what I said and to whom I said it. But , now that I’ve reached the big # 83 - what the hell I’m not so easily intimidated. I’ll go to the mat with the best of them - (and I have).
# 28 - Years of research tells me this cowardly murder involved the co-operation of men who were both highly respected and held high positions, and , was carried out by highly experienced assassins - with Sirhan as their patsy. These were no amateurs. Throughout the years American courts have refused to grant an impartial Evidentiary Hearing to investigate that mountain of fraudulent evidence. I asked for the best and brightest experts to examine my discoveries. But the courts won’t allow that to happen. I suspect they are afraid of becoming infected with a terrible career-killing disease.